Momentum for eprint archiving
Free Online Scholarship (FOS) Newsletter
August 8, 2002
by Peter Suber
Institutional eprint archiving is currently undergoing a unprecedented surge of acceptance and support.  Years of patient work by many people at many institutions around the world have slowly assembled the pieces, spread the word, impressed the skeptics, and created a critical number of interoperable archives.  Now archiving has reached a tipping point.  Its rapidly spreading success is a pleasure to behold.

For these purposes, eprint archiving has three components:  (1) the software for building the archives, Eprints for large institutional or disciplinary archives and Kepler for smaller individual "archivelets", (2) the Open Archives Initiative metadata harvesting protocol, the standard for making the archives interoperable, and (3) the decision by universities and laboratories to launch archives and fill them with the research output of their faculty.

* Here are the major developments on these three fronts going back only six months.  If you've been following the progress of the FOS movement for any number of years, you'll agree that no other single idea or technology in the movement has enjoyed this density of endorsement and adoption in a six month period.

February 1, 2002.  JISC holds the meeting to launch its Focus on Access to Institutional Resources Programme (FAIR), a program "inspired by the vision of the Open Archives Initiative".

February 6, 2002.  Eight major library organizations from eight nations launch the International Scholarly Communication Alliance, which endorses institutional eprint archiving and the Open Archives Initiative.

February 14, 2002.  Eprints launches version 2.0.

February 14, 2002.  The Open Society Institute launches the Budapest Open Access Initiative, which endorses institutional eprint archiving and the Open Archives Initiative.

February 25, 2002.  The University of Michigan Libraries Digital Library Production Service announces the launch of OAIster, which creates an OAI-compliant archive out of content previously invisible in the deep internet.;page=simple

March 2002.  The CARL/ABRC (Canadian Association of Research Libraries / Association des bibliothèques de recherche du Canada) issues a report endorsing the Open Archives Initiative.

March, 2002.  François Schiettecatte launches my.OAI, a flexible search engine for OAI-compliant archives.

March 12, 2002.  MIT's OAI-compliant DSpace enters its Early Adopter Phase

March 26, 2002.  The first DELOS EU/NSF Digital Libraries All Projects Meeting in Rome devotes a forum to the Open Archives Initiative.

March 26, 2002.  The OCLC Institute hosts the satellite videoconference, "A New Harvest: Revealing Hidden Resources With the Open Archives Metadata Harvesting Protocol" with host Lorcan Dempsey and featured speaker Herbert Van de Sompel.

April 3, 2002.  The California Digital Library launches the OAI-compliant eScholarship Repository.

April 7, 2002.  The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign launches its OAI-compliant Cultural Heritage repository.

April 11, 2002.  Stephen Pinfield, Mike Gardner and John MacColl write an important article for _Ariadne_ on their experience setting up institutional eprint archives at the universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham.

April 17, 2002.  At the Museums and the Web 2002 conference in Boston, Timothy Cole and five co-authors present their experience setting up the UIUC Cultural Heritage Repository.

May-June, 2002.  Colin Steele and Lorena Kanellopoulos visit each of the Group of Eight universities in Australia to promote the creation and use of eprint repositories.  Queensland set up an archive, Monash plans to do so, and Melbourne is experimenting; the rest of the Group of Eight is expected to create archives shortly.  The separate university archive projects have web sites, but not the Steele-Kanellopoulos roadshow.

May, 2002.  CARL/ABRC launches a project to create institutional archives at seven Canadian universities and have the institutions exchange ideas, suggestions and best practices.  (Also see the November 21-22 conference, below.)  The project itself does not have a web page, but it does have this page of relevant resources.

May, 2002.  RLG (Research Libraries Group) and OCLC (Online Computers Library Center) release their major report, "Trusted Digital Repositories:  Attributes and Responsibilities".

May 6, 2002.  The Perseus Project launches its Open Archives Initiative services.

May 9, 2002.  Colin Steele gives a seminar on eprint archives at University of Adelaide.

May 21, 2002.  ARL (Association of Research Libraries) releases its final report on its Scholars Portal project, and calls for it to be OAI-compliant.

May 29, 2002.  _The Australian_ publishes a major article on eprint repositories.

June 14, 2002.  The OAI releases version 2.0 of the protocol for metadata harvesting.

June 22, 2002.  A group chaired by Colin Steele completes specifications for a national center to promote eprint repositories in Australia.  The specifications were requested by the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training department.  There is no web site yet for this project.

July, 2002.  OAIster launches version 1.0 of its search interface.;page=simple

July 1, 2002.  Eprints affiliates with GNU, assuring that it will remain free and open source.

July 1, 2002.  Eprints forms a partnership with Ingenta, which will produce a commercial version of the software (more in the Ingenta story above).

July 4, 2002.  Eprints launches version 2.1.

July 5, 2002.  Jeffrey Young publishes a important article on institutional archiving in the _Chronicle of Higher Education_.

July 8, 2002.  William Nixon writes an important article for _Ariadne_ on the experience of setting up an institutional archive at the University of Glasgow.

July 14, 2002.  The Public Knowledge Project releases its Open Archives Harvester.

July 14, 2002.  Michael Nelson, Herbert Van de Sompel, and Simeon Warner present an "Advanced Overview of Version 2.0 of the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting" at the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries.

July 16-17, 2002.  The Joint Conference on Digital Libraries gives the OAI two sessions at its 2002 meeting in Portland, Oregon.  (Scroll down to sessions 6B and 10A.)

July 29, 2002.  The University of Southampton, which developed the eprints software, announces TARDIS (Targeting Academic Research for Deposit and dISclosure), a project to stimulate the practice of eprint archiving.

July 29, 2002.  SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) releases its major position paper, "The Case for Institutional Repositories".  (HTML)  (PDF)

August 1, 2002.  Project SHERPA (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access) begins operation.  Funded by JISC-FAIR, SHERPA is designed to stimulate eprint archiving in the UK CURL (Consortium of University Research Libraries) institutions.  (home page under construction)

August 2, 2002.  Max Rauner writes an important story on institutional archiving for _NZZ Online_.  (In German)  (Google's English translation)

August 3, 2002.  Kendra Mayfield writes a major story  on eprint archives for _Wired News_.,1383,54229,00.html

August 8, 2002.  And now this.

* If we peek a little into the future, we see three important meetings coming:

October 17-19, 2002.  CERN will host its second annual workshop on the Open Archives Initiative and eprint archives.
Here's the web site for the first CERN OAI workshop, in March 2001.

October 18, 2002. ARL, SPARC, and CNI will host a workshop on institutional repositories in Washington, D.C.
(Rick Johnson of SPARC tells me that this workshop has already attracted more than 100 registrations from 66 universities.  This suggests widespread interest in launching institutional repositories.)

November 21-11, 2002.  CARL/ABRC will host a conference ("Research, Innovation and Canadian Scholarship: Exploring and implementing some new models for scholarly publishing") on the lessons learned from its ongoing project to launch and monitor archives at seven Canadian universities.  (See the CARL/ABRC entry for May above.)  The conference program and registration information will soon appear at the CARL web site.

* There are also some developments without specific dates:

The BOAI (Budapest Open Access Initiative) is considering a program to support institutional archiving.
(No details on the site yet.  Stay tuned; I'll report any developments.)

The BOAI self-archiving FAQ is growing steadily.
(If you haven't seen it recently, see it now.  It has become extremely detailed and thorough.)

Helene Bosc reports that five eprint repositories have recently sprung up in France:

     These-En-Ligne (theses only)

     l'Institut Jean Nicod

     l'Archive Lyon2

     Paristech (theses only)


* Here are the URLs of some players mentioned above without links.



Open Archives Initiative

* Thanks to Helene Bosc, Sarah Faraud, Chris Gutteridge, Melissa Hagemann, Stevan Harnad, Rick Johnson, Xiaoming Liu, Tim Mark, Stephen Pinfield, Colin Steele, and Herbert Van de Sompel for providing details.


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