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Second Workshop on the Open Archives Initiative (Oai)
The Second Workshop on the Open Archives Initiative meeting, organised by LIBER, SPARC-Europe and CERN Library, gathered 136 participants from 20 different countries and different professions (computer scientists, engineers, programmers, archivists, managers of large libraries organizations, projects managers, professors, librarians and so on) and was again organised by the CERN Library.
The First Workshop was held in Geneva in March 2001 (together with sponsorship by LIBER, SPARC, the European Science Foundation and EBSCO) with the title: Workshop on the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) and the Peer Review Journals in Europe. In the First Workshop final session report Corrado Pettenati (CERN Library Director), Raf Dekeyser (Leuven University and LIBER representative) and Herbert van De Sompel (researcher on OAI and now working at LANL – Los Alamos Library) made interesting observations about peer review, OAI economic considerations, the protocol for certification and the role of libraries. The following recommendations were reported:
Conduct work in the area of using the OAI protocol for certification-related metadata. Create certification schemes building on existing efforts, where possible.
Some credible library organizations should get in touch with scholarly publishers to promote the concept of exposing metadata of the materials (articles, books …) they publish via the OAI protocol.
Increase the amount of institutional and/or departmental OAI-compatible e-print servers and take action to promote submission of scholarly work to those servers.
As the Second Workshop has ended its work it is possible to note that a third of those recommendations has been largely fulfilled, as a large number of e-print servers have been installed and their activity reported during the Second Workshop. The main goal of the meeting was to discuss the state of the art of the OAI and the main projects currently on the horizon while contextualizing them in the framework of general political issues related to the current use and archives implementation. The Workshop started with an introductory talk by Herbert van De Sompel, who had just arrived from Florence, where he took part in the Dublin Core 2002 International Conference and where the launch of the OAI-PMH 2.0 and the subsequent release of the present version was made. Two sessions followed about discipline-oriented and institutional-oriented archives during which many very interesting initiatives were presented and mentioned, including:
MIT's Dspace (http://www.dspace.org/) launched in October 2002, and its Open Source was to be released on November 4, 2002. Supported by Hewlett-Packard, the characteristic of this method is very interesting as it allows for the self-archiving of various format types (text, images, video, and datasets) and will be devoted to research and teaching materials in the DSpace repository, as covered in MacKenzie Smith's paper.
The California Digital Library; and the eScholarship Repository, (http://escholarship.cdlib.org/wprepositories.html) as John Ober explained in his paper, are working as partners with the University of California Press for eBook content of a significant part of the book list and with Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress), a start-up company at the University of California, which makes available the EdiKit, a Web-based peer review journal software (see http://www.bepress.com/press100401.html).
The growing number of projects and archives in Europe, as the OA Forum surveyed and Susanne Dobratz reported in her paper: "OA Forum in Europe is supported in the frame of the 5th European Programme/Information Society Technologies".
Elizabeth Cerhal spoke of the French project Cellule MathDoc (Cellule de Coordination Documentaire Nationale pour la Mathematique – http://www-mathdoc.ujf-grenoble.fr/).
The SHERPA (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access – http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/index.html) project was reported by Stephen Pinfield from Nottingham; he also spoke about the ROMEO Project (http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ls/disresearch/romeo/), especially about the rights related to OAI documents.
Gehrard Beier spoke about the Max Planck Institutes' eDoc server (http://edoc.mpg.de/help.epl).
The second day's meetings were devoted to technical topics. The speakers were among the most important leaders in this field and included Michael L. Nelson, Eric Van de Velde, Thomas Krichel and Carl Lagoze. They spoke about the relevant technical issues and provided overviews of central problems to be discussed and resolved in future developments. There were presentations by Femke Markus of Elsevier Science about Scirus and by Christopher Pressler about the UK's JISC activity in the archiving field.
The afternoon session had three presentations about important initiatives including the SPARC programmes by Alison Buckholtz, the Budapest Open Access Initiative by Frederick J. Friend and Documenta Mathematica, as an example of a community-owned scientific journal, by Ulf Rehmann. After these presentations there were eight parallel sessions of small groups organised on the following topics:
Document provider (server) implementation (in English). Chair: Thomas Krichel (RePEc).
Human-related problems around institutional OAI servers. Chairs: Fred Friend and Alison Buckholtz (University College London and SPARC).
Mise en service d'une archive numérique (in French). Chair: Hélène Bosc (INRA).
OAI protocols. Chairs: Herbert van de Sompel and Carl Lagoze (LANL and Cornell University).
OAI software. Chair: Eric Van de Velde (CalTech).
Long term archiving. Chair: Susanne Dobratz (Humboldt University-Berlin).
OAI services. Chair: Michael Nelson (Old Dominion University).
Non-commercial scientific journals. Chair: Les Grivell (EMBO).
Rapporteurs summed up at the end of the afternoon the main suggestions from the groups.
The last day started with a brilliant presentation by Jean-Yves Le Meur about the CDSware software, the CERN Document Server information system (http://cdsware.cern.ch/) and an overview about e-prints software by Chris Gutteridge, the young "father" of e-prints, and the GNU software most used in Europe and elsewhere. Then we listened to Jean-Claude Guédon's keynote speech.
Jean-Claude Guédon, from the University of Montreal, provided a wide overview about the social and political issues in the field of academic/scholarly publishing and self-archiving. A popular and frequent speaker, he was also an invited speaker in the discussion session organised at a preconference of the 2002 IFLA General Conference in Glasgow about the Open Archives topic. He observed that the highest power and control level that a scientist may achieve is not only to become a full professor but to get the role of gatekeeper as chief editor of an important journal. It is crucial to understand the economic and social issues underlying these roles, because they explain very well the schizophrenic behaviour of scientists as both authors and as readers. He also explained that sometimes the publisher heavily influences the gatekeeper's functions. Scientists have to rely on the publisher business model and be aware of revenue streams; in this context it happens that some commercial journals may close because of a low number of subscriptions and weak income, and by consequence damage a research group and its gatekeeper. To promote "distributed intelligence at its best in a universal and global knowledge network" the OA have a fundamental role: to constitute the equivalent of a journal "branding system" given openness and sense of debate to the scientific communities.
The next presentation about the Figaro project (http://figaro.comp.nus.edu.sg/) by Bas Savenije was indeed like a practical example on what is possible to realize in the transition, and why it is possible to give concrete answers to the problems which this transition poses.
In conclusion, the way towards developing a new paradigm of scientific communication is not easy due to multiple reasons. The OAI context is able to offer not only a technical framework but also a new social approach in which most of the barriers and constraints of the traditional publication model are resolved. As Jean-Claude Guédon said in his wise conclusions, the main goal of the workshop, as it was stated at the beginning of this report, has been achieved. All sessions (excluding group discussion) were main sessions and therefore the participants could be present at the discussion, and for the question/answer sessions facilitated by the speakers. All sessions were Webcasted, so now anyone can listen in to any speaker or presenter.
Conference attendance at CERN is a special environment. All participants were accommodated at the CERN hostel which is an ideal and very comfortable venue. Corrado Pettenati, as Director of the CERN Library gave everybody a warm welcome and we all had the feeling that his presence and that of the CERN Library librarians had the magic power to make everything go smoothly and pleasantly, even if the weather was not too kind that week with rain and sleet. However, with a nice ray of sunshine and fresh snow on the Jura mountains near Geneva as we left, our memories are rich and positive.
Sponsored by ESF European Science Foundation, JISC Joint Information Systems Committee (UK) and OSI Open Society Institute.
Full list of participants: http://library.cern.ch/partbyc.htm
Full agenda and papers at: http://documents.cern.ch/AGE/current/fullAgenda.php?ida=a01193
Full conclusive report: http://doc.cern.ch/AGE/current/askArchive.php?a01193/a01193s5t16/text/geneva-final.html
University of Strathclyde, McCance Lecture Theatre – University Libraries and other General Research Libraries Workshop The Impact of Alternative Scholarly Publishing and the Budapest Open Access Initiatives, Jean-Claude Guédon (Université de Montréal, Montréal) Reactor Panel to the Presentation.
Transparencies and videos of each speaker at: http://documents.cern.ch/AGE/current/fullAgenda.php?ida=a02333
Valentina Comba(email@example.com) is the Director, Inter-Faculty Center for Libraries, University of Bologna, Italy.