Self-archiving repositories

Over the course of the research I tried, and perhaps failed, to get many teachers to self-archive their work. One teacher decided he prefered to archive the work on his website (we succeeded in posting around 15 of his articles to it), while another went along with my recommendation to use the Mana’o repository. Others (and here I have to admit I didn’t push it enough), showed interest in the upcoming Concordia branded repository.

Over the period, the teachers personal website was a constant challenge to keep up with. It contained too much disorganized material, and needed a serious revamp. The Mana’o experiment worked well after a few failed email attempts. And the upcoming Concordia repository? Well, it’s not ready yet.

Revamping websites, keeping repositories up to date, and general disorganization. What do they all have in common? They all demand time.

So why, if there is never enough time, is everyone reinventing the wheel? I think there is a need for a more collaborative archive, one that is run by an interest community – ala open source software projects. It would need funding and help from various academic institutions, but not depend on only one. It would also index all the repositories available to make searching easier. (eg, indexing on Mana’o hasn’t helped in terms of finding the paper through google or other search engines).

why didn’t the AAA setup a self-archiving repository again?  A number of my teachers still worry about the “credibility” of self-archiving their work, (no matter how hard I try to explain that the material has already been peer-reviewed… so what’s the worry…)…

Anyways, this is a rather empty post, since I don’t have time either – but once i finish this thesis I will, and maybe a cross-institution repository could be setup with enough funds to really push anthropologists to archive their work? Or can we get more funds to Mana’o – I’d love to see a developer hired for a year to really get it going!

Or are self-archiving repositories intentionally keeping a low profile, to avoid fist fights with publishers?

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