Superarchives Could Hold All Scholarly Output

Jeffrey R. Young, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Jul 02, 2002
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Useful article looking at alternatives to scholarly publication in journals. The bulk of the article is devoted to what are called superarchives. These are essentially collections of materials hosted by a single university and intended to contain that institution's professors' research output. Of interest in the article is the suggestion that online infrastructure allows for the unbundling of functions typically bundled by journals: refereeing, editorial standards, dissemination and marketing. The publishers, naturally, are sceptical. "If I was a researcher, I would be scared to death to make myself dependent on that solution," says one. But I wonder. Scared of what? As the article mentions, citations of online materials are about triple those available only in print form. Perhaps that's the one thing academic publishers want to avoid at all costs: readers.
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