Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Library Philosophy and Practice 2011


With the development of information communication technologies, a number of alternative strategies to the traditional scholarly publishing system have been evolved. Among these, Open Access (OA) model which promise to be extremely advantageous to peers everywhere, especially to those who have acute shortage of resources for purchasing scholarly literature. The impetus of OA was boosted by the Open Society Institute (OSI) in a small meeting convened in Budapest on December 1-2, 2001. The purpose of the meeting was to accelerate progress in the international effort to make research literature in all academic fields freely available on the Internet (OAIS, 2002; Hirtle, 2001). The first major international statement on OA, which includes a definition, background information and a list of signatories, is the Budapest Open Access Initiative. The other two leading statements are the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. The conception of open access in these three statements, which is often called the BBB (Budapest, Bethesda and Berlin) definition, launched, inspired, and continues to guide the open access movement.

Although institutional-based, or more typically departmental, 'archives' were known before this, especially in areas such as computer science and economics that were served by NCSTRL and RePEc, respectively, OAI introduced the Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) to provide common services that could operate over more general, independent sites (Lynch 2001). Institutional Repository (IR) adopt the same open access and interoperable framework as e-print archive, but rather than being discipline-based, represent the wide range of research output of a given university or research organization. The term was coined by Scholarly Publishing for Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and has been defined by SPARC as “digital collections capturing and preserving the intellectual output of a single or multi-university community” (Crow, 2001). Crow argues that institutional digital repositories will lead to significant increases in the prestige of the institutions that build them (Crow, 2002). Stephen Harnad also cites institutional prestige: “Distributed, institution-based self-archiving benefits research institutions in three ways. First, it maximizes the visibility and impact of its own refereed research output. Second, by symmetry, it maximizes their researchers’ access to the full refereed research output of all other institutions. Third, institutions themselves can hasten the transition to self-archiving and so more quickly reduce their library’s annual serials expenditures to 10% (paid to journal publishers for refereeing their submissions)”(Harnad, 2002). Pinfield, Gardner, and MacColl also argue that an e-print archive can raise the profile of an institution (Pinfield, Gardner, & MacColl, 2001).



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