Tim Brody’s Institutional Archives Registry now organizes OAI-compliant archives by country, type (e.g. institutional, disciplinary, e-theses), and the software on which they are built. This is a very helpful innovation. Of course the registry continues to provide a graphic for each archive showing its growth over time. To mark the new plateau in functionality, Stevan Harnad has sent a message to several discussion lists calling on unregistered archives to register themselves.
(PS: Because no directory of OAI-compliant archives is as comprehensive or up-to-date as the DOAJ is for journals, I maintain a list of the better lists in order to help users find them all. Brody’s registry, for example, offers better services, but fewer archives, than the other large lists. The largest at the moment seem to be the OAIster and UIUC lists. I support Harnad’s call for registration, not to pick a favorite in the mix of lists but in order to get the benefit of Brody’s useful tools for more and more of the existing archives. Why do we need a good list of all the OAI-compliant archives? Three reasons: (1) so that archives can register in one place and be assured that they will be noticed and harvested, (2) so that OAI service providers can learn which archives are eligible for harvesting, and (3) so that authors can learn where they may deposit their work.)
A few comments:
I do not think that this project is so extremely helpful as the OA community thinks. It would be a great source of information when the announced article search is working. According to
DOAJ is listing journals if they are research journals with quality control available without fees. Permission barriers are NOT removed in most DOAJ journals, and many DOAJ journals make extensive copyright reservations. Thus I would call this OA „OA light“ …
I cannot see the essential difference to the most comprehensive list of E-journals, the German EZB
There is much more FREE stuff than in the DOAJ (beside the historic and popular journals excluded by the DOAJ). So what?
(ii) Harnad’s message is confusing OA archives and OAI-compliant archives. It makes sense that all free available document servers should be OAI-compliant, and the OAIster
is one of the greatest search engines I know.
But one should not forget that only a little part of the free document servers („OA light servers“ like the Lund „OA light journals“) are OAI-compliant.
(iii) We need much better list of both types!
Brody lists in Germany 5 servers, OAIster 13 servers.
HU University offers an OAI-meta-search for German (and other) servers
But TheO searchs 46 dissertation servers in Germany
Most of them are not OAI-compliant but free available document servers = OA servers. (Fortunately a lot of e-dissertations in Germany can be found in OAIster via the BSZ-data! See also
Another meta-search for 22 German document servers (and meta-search-engines like DNB-Theses and GBV) is OASE, a KVK-cat:
OASE is an acronym for Open Access for Scientific Literature!
OPUS searchs 42 servers:
there are 70+ academic library servers in Germany but there is NO meta-search for them all!
In short: There is a lot of free available scholarly online-stuff in Germany but no one can find all these pearls!
Why do we need OASE AND OPUS AND TheO if they are indexing only a part of all German eprints?
A little test:
One dissertation at Berlin Arts U
OAIster 1 match at Heidelberg via BSZ
TheO 0 (??? – Heidelberg is included)
OPUS: 3 matches (without Berlin!)
OASE: 5 matches with Berlin because DNB-Theses are included.
DNB-Theses (in German: Die Deutsche Bibliothek) is a collection only dissertations and „Habilitationsschriften“ available online (not preprints etc.)
landschaftsmalerei: 2 matches (Berlin and another dissertation at Braunschweig)
DNB-Theses is part of http://www.renardus.org but nothing is found there with the search „landschaftsmalerei“!
Another tests could demonstrate that there are German scholarly preprints in servers not harvested by OASE/OPUS (or OAIster). See the German wiki-page
(iv) May I note that there are large lists in Turkey no one knows?
(v) Yes, authors should know in which OA archives they can publish. But the existing lists are insufficient: Given a research topic each scholar who has not the possibilty to use the repository of the own institution (if affiliated!) should know: where are repositories for my research area and in which languages I can give my paper. If scholars had to translate their papers that would be not an incentive.
(BTW: I do not know a repository for archival science! Only papers on digital preservation are accepted by the ERPANET server.)
(vi) OAIster contains some projects digitizing rare books and another heritage collections (and, unfortunately, some projects containing only finding aids). I do NOT appreciate the decision of the Münster server MIAMI not to make the 400+ rare books (from a noble Westphalian library, each book fully digitized) available via OAIster. We need a registry for historic stuff in „OA light“ archives like incunabula or manuscript or rare book collections!
Read my talk (in German) on this topic at:
See also my lists (partly in English) of free historic stuff:
Only my two cents …