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March 18, 2005

Thomson ISI and Open Access, an Update

Excerpt: "Open access (OA) publishing is growing in importance, and, in parallel, the role of institutional repositories (IRs) has come to the forefront of discussion within the library community. The two are intertwined but not synonymous, and different motivations are driving the growth of each. The Thomson Scientific role in promoting institutional repositories' growth was highlighted recently in three workshops held in London, Boston, and Sydney... Our approach to IRs has been different [from our approach to journals]. Repositories represent new ways of organizing research and are taking shape in a variety of experimental forms. They vary in the types of content, the purposes of their creators, and their relationship to researchers. Increasingly, publishers are allowing researchers to archive their own content, and IRs can play a role in aiding researchers in this endeavor. We estimate that publishers now allow over half of all scholarly articles to be archived by their authors, based on average articles published in the journals of the 2003 Journal Citation Report and publishers listed as Project Romeo. But far less than half of all scholarly articles are actually posted to IRs today, often because of lack of awareness and incentive for researchers to do so. Overcoming this barrier is a critical need for IR developers. As one administrator remarked in a planning session: "The key issue is turning now on the willingness of faculty to automatically put stuff into their repository."...Seven institutions joined with us in a Web Citation Index pilot project to explore the proper relationship between ISI Web of Knowledge, Web of Science, and the world of IRs. A collaboration with NEC on the basis of its CiteSeer environment provided the technology partnership to support this new undertaking... The project has run for the past 10 months, and will continue as we move toward release of the full-scale environment for use by researchers over the next several months....At a Thomson Scientific workshop during ALA Midwinter in January 2005, Jean Poland of Cornell University and Katie Clark of the University of Rochester outlined the state of IR development at their institutions, and the potential role of the Web Citation Index in encouraging the growth of IRs. Ms. Clark emphasized the challenge of gaining faculty buy-in, noting that for researchers: "it is all about me and my research", and faculties need to be shown how the IR can help their everyday activities. Ms. Poland pointed out that citation-based tools such as the Web Citation Index can have a positive influence on user awareness and reputation of IRs."

Source: James Pringle. Partnering helps institutional repositories thrive. Thomson Customer News. (February 2005) [FullText] [OA News Record]

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