[Open-access] [open-science] OKF at Open Repositories 2014

Mike Taylor mike at indexdata.com
Thu Dec 5 23:45:25 UTC 2013

Existing repos adhering to standards would be fine, so long as no
political barriers were erected to people doing the kinds of things
that need doing: systematic downloading, mirroring, reindexing,
exporting, importing, peer-to-peer connections and so on.
Unfortunately sense is that a lot of IRs very explicitly don't want
people to do ANY of that. They want the world to come to their one
special magic web-site and read the papers only there. Which is not
that much more advanced than the position of paywalled publishers.

The real issues here are much more social than technical. As usual.

-- Mike.

On 5 December 2013 23:41, Bjoern Brembs <b.brembs at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thursday, December 5, 2013, 5:16:01 PM, you wrote:
>> Wikipedia works because there's one of it.
>> eBay works for the same reason.
>> More pertinently, that's why arXiv works, too.
>> The whole system of IRs necessarily and *by design* leads to
>> balkanisation. How could it not? That's what
>> the institutions actively
>> *want* -- come and see *our* awesome repo! What researchers need is
>> for there to be one repo in the world. (Plus
>> any number of mirrors, of
>> course.)
> Spot on! And neither Ebay, nor Wikipedia are a
> single computer with one harddrive. The advantage
> of the net is that it doesn't matter where things
> are, as long as it appears unitary for the human
> user. Which is why, practically, repositories are
> great: there are people, funds and institutions
> attached to it in many ways, such that each
> repository and its contents are 'cared for' in a
> very decentralized way. That's the good part.
> The bad part is that they operate in a balkanized'
> way, which means nobody is using them.
> It seems to me that the most feasible way (both
> legally and practically) is to get repositories to
> act as peers in a single peer-2-peer network
> (perhaps using a torrent-like technology), where
> the peers care for, maintain and curate the
> content, rather than to design a centralized
> intitiative from scratch.
> I'll let myself be convinced otherwise, but for now
> repositories appear to me like arms, legs, livers
> and spleens looking for a brain to make it all
> work. Designing a whole human from scratch appears
> to bring a whole bag of issues with it that might
> hamper any such approach beyond what it's worth.
> What are the arguments against redesigning
> repositories and for designing a new scholarly
> knowledge database from scratch?
> Again, we obviously need "here is your scholarly
> content:", but are there any good reasons why that
> content cannot/should not be located in current
> repositories adhering to a common standard?
> Bjoern
> --
> Björn Brembs
> ---------------------------------------------
> http://brembs.net
> Neurogenetics
> Universität Regensburg
> Germany
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