A look at the scholarship of Harvard’s famous Professor Andrew H. Knoll (comparing DASH and Google Scholar)

Andrew H. Knoll is
* Fisher Professor of Natural History and
* Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences
* Curator of the Paleobotanical Collections in the Harvard University Herbaria


Browsing by Harvard-affiliated Author “Andrew Herbert Knoll” in “DASH” (Digital Disappointing Access to Scholarship at Harvard, see http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/5918167) I found 100 articles.

First article:

Bambach, Richard K., Andrew H. Knoll, and John J. Sepkoski. 2002. Anatomical and ecological constraints on Phanerozoic animal diversity in the marine realm. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 99(10): 6854-6859.

One can read in DASH:

At the direction of the depositing author this work is not currently accessible through DASH.

But the article is free on the publisher’s website!

Publishers policy according “ROMEO”:
“Publisher’s version/PDF cannot be used in repository, but made be used on authors website”

The same case with the same publisher:




and more.

Free in DASH are 3 of 100 Knoll articles

Publisher’s PDF from UCP (ROMEO: “Publisher’s version/PDF may be used (encouraged)”)

“Publisher PDF may be archived 6 months after publication”

I cannot explain this exception: “Publisher’s version/PDF cannot be used” (Elsevier!)

The following is no complete list of free versions in the web – I didn’t check all 100 articles with Google Scholar.

isn’t free in DASH but in the web:

Not free:

Not free:

Not free:

Not free:

Not free:

Not free:

Not free:

Not free:

Not free:

Not free:
http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~meech/NAIJC/papers/MeridianiPlanum_Science2004_AqueousEnv.pdf (and others)

Not free:
Free (not legal?)

Not free
Free on publisher’s website (temporarily?)

Not free:

Not free:

Not free:
Free on publisher’s website:

Not free, but should be free according the ROMEO list
CUP has the policy: “Publishers version/PDF may be used in an institutional repository or PubMed Central after 12 month embargo”

Not in the DASH list but free:

Some thoughts on this:

(i) The more authors an article has the more likely is that it is free in the web.

(Professor Knoll wasn’t until now a fan of self-archiving like his co-authors.)

(ii) Professor Knoll has deposited only publisher’s PDFs (or given a bibliography and DASH has downloaded them).

This confirms my Zurich ZORA hypothesis:

Scholars doesn’t like to deposit preprints or postprints even this is allowed by the publisher. They deposit PDFs because PDFs are citable.

(May be they delete electronic versions after publication, too.)

It seems that DASH has checked the publisher’s policies and made accessible 3 of the 100 eprints. In one case I cannot explain why the eprint is free, in another ROMEO says that OUP allows using the publisher’s PDF.

Please note that DASH has no eprint button. I have argued several times against it:

(I do not know if Harvard affiliated users can access the closed eprints. If not one can wait until Professor Knoll is 70 years dead and the copyright is expired. If they can this is only an advantage of the “happy few” at Harvard.)

(iii) It is not helpful for users that DASH doesn’t gives a hint if the link to the publisher’s version leads to free content.

(iv) Don’t trust in DASH! Scholars should always search for free versions in Google Scholar and if not found there in the Google websearch.

One cannot expect that DASH is so courageous to link to free versions in the web (these could be illegal ones).

(v) It is not possible easily to measure the effect of Harvard’s OA policy if one cannot filter no-free eprints in DASH.

Update: http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/6250326

Source: http://www.eps.harvard.edu/people/faculty/knoll/Knoll_on_Mars.jpg

Diesen Blogbeitrag zitieren
Klaus Graf (2009, 3. September). A look at the scholarship of Harvard’s famous Professor Andrew H. Knoll (comparing DASH and Google Scholar). Archivalia. Abgerufen am 30. Mai 2024, von https://doi.org/10.58079/bu4e

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

2 Gedanken zu „A look at the scholarship of Harvard’s famous Professor Andrew H. Knoll (comparing DASH and Google Scholar)“

  1. Clarification of DASH issues Dr. Graf has provided an interesting anecdotal investigation of one of the authors in the DASH repository during its beta period. It may be helpful to go over some of the issues that he raises to place them in context.

    Dr. Graf objects that DASH does not distribute the publisher’s PDF of articles where publisher policies disallow such distribution, such as the article . But distributing such articles (unless separate arrangements have been made with the publisher) could be a violation of copyright. DASH policy is not, and should not be, based on violation of copyright. This issue is independent of questions about Harvard open-access policies, as this article does not fall under the policy; it was written before the policy took effect.

    Dr. Graf notes that in many cases, free versions of the articles are available elsewhere on the web, sometimes at the publisher’s own web site. We have made every effort to provide links to the definitive versions of articles where available, and have done so for the articles that Dr. Graf cites. Thus the free versions at publisher web sites are a click away from the DASH page. In the particular cases cited, however, the publisher does not permit the repository itself to distribute the paper. See the paragraph above.

    Dr. Graf would prefer to see links to versions above and beyond the version at the publisher’s site, and I would too. Indeed, we provide for such alternative links to be added to entries with an “Alternative links” field, and many entries already have them. (Of the particular links that Dr. Graf mentions, three were already in the corresponding DASH entries, two through the “Link to published version” field and one through the currently inaccessible “Alternative links” field. We are happy to take advantage of his efforts and add the remainder to their respective entries.) Unfortunately, the current beta version of the DASH user interface has not yet made these links public for technical reasons that we are actively repairing. DASH is, of course, a new repository and is still under development. This is one of several facilities that we are rolling out over time. Dr. Graf wonders whether “DASH is so courageous to link to free versions in the web.” We are. We link to third-party web sites as a convenience to users, though we will not approve or otherwise vet the content available at those sites, as described in the DASH Terms of Use (paragraph 12).

    Dr. Graf wonders why in a small number of cases DASH does not provide access to an article even though the publisher’s policy would allow it. He pinpoints a single one of Dr. Knoll’s articles , although there are, I believe, four such cases. We provide access to articles at the behest of the depositors, and verify with them the distribution regime that they prefer for their articles, in keeping with the principle that authors should have control over the distribution status of their writings. (For the same reason, our open-access policies allow authors free rein in waiving the license to Harvard for their articles.) In a small number of cases, depositors specifically request that we “downgrade” distribution from the normal access regime (see “Other Posted Material” at ) to a metadata-only regime, and we of course respect their wishes. (Similarly, by waiving the OA policy for an article, authors are in effect downgrading the rights status of the article from that for “OAP Articles” to that for “Other Posted Material”.) The paper in question was one of these small number of cases.

    Dr. Graf would like to see information about rights made available. Again, we have been working on this, and hope to make that information available through the DASH user interface and through an OAI-PMH feed.

    Finally, and most importantly, Dr. Graf misunderstands the role of DASH (and similar repositories) when he declaims “Don’t trust in DASH! Scholars should always search for free versions in Google Scholar and if not found there in the Google websearch.” We have never thought of DASH as the primary location for searching the scholarly literature, nor is that the basis for developing institutional repositories. Repositories provide standard interfaces that allow search across the full range of sites for exactly this reason. DASH provides OAI-PMH feeds and allows web crawling that allow DASH entries to be found by search engines and other software facilities, including Google. As public access to DASH is only two days old, I urge a bit of patience for Google, OAIster, and other services to index its contents. Once they do, DASH will be searchable in an integrated form along with the many hundreds of other institutional repositories worldwide. (Very little patience is likely to be required; Google already seems to have indexed some of the DASH material. For instance, this Google search for one of Professor Knoll’s papers provides the DASH entry as the first hit.)

    I am pleased to see that Dr. Graf has made such a careful study of the DASH site during its beta-test period. I hope that over time he will appreciate the improvements that we are able to make and his disappointment will subside.

    1. Thank you for the clarification “Finally, and most importantly, Dr. Graf misunderstands the role of DASH (and similar repositories) when he declaims “Don’t trust in DASH! Scholars should always search for free versions in Google Scholar and if not found there in the Google websearch.” We have never thought of DASH as the primary location for searching the scholarly literature, nor is that the basis for developing institutional repositories.”

      I am since the beginning of OA IRs as an OA advocate very familiar with the functions of IRs and I have e.g. published in 2004 an article on OA:

      Wissenschaftliches E-Publizieren mit “Open Access” – Initiativen
      und Widerstände, in: Neue Medien in den Sozial-, Geistes- und
      Kulturwissenschaften. Elektronisches Publizieren und Open Access:
      Stand und Perspektiven, hrsg. von Katja Mruck/Gudrun Gersmann (= Historical Social Research. Historische Sozialforschung 29 H. 1), Köln 2004, S. 64-75

      I understand and support the role of IRs since years in public statements (mostly in German). One can find e.g. a link to a suggestion from me how to fill IRs in 2007 as single link at the page

      Or see my thoughts on OA IRs and course reserves quoted at

      For searching free academic content I personally would use Google/G. Scholar and OAIster (or OAIster first). But if there is an institutional IR I can understand scholars who are thinking that this would be the first place to find OA versions of the research output of that institution. As I have shown in cases of STM articles with a lot of co-authors this can be misleading.

      Two more points:

      (1) If a link leads in DASH to a free version (and I appreciate that links to free versions will be appear in the future) this should be said explicitely. I personally don’t click to the publisher’s website to see if the article is free because most articles are’nt.

      (2) It is essential to see in the metadata (and to search for) if an article is free or not. If OAIster is harvesting DASH I would like to know via OAIster if there isn’t a downloadable PDF.

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