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Re: Role of arXiv

On Oct 15, 2010, at 3:10 AM, Sandy Thatcher wrote:

> Anticipating Stevan's response, I'd ask how these disciplinary
> repositories are to be filled since they lack the power that
> universities have to mandate submissions?

Without the power of mandates, successful subject repositories 
instead wield the immense power of incentives to attract 
scholars.  Subject repositories do something crucial for 
scholars: they enable them to communicate faster, they make their 
work more visible to their peers, and they give their work more 
impact.  This is epecially the case when large-scale digital 
libraries integrate the repository content with the scholarly 
record. We have done a case study of arXiv.org for High- Energy 
Physics, in symbiosis with the SPIRES/INSPIRE service (which 
incidentally we launched earlier this week: see 
inspirebeta.net and projecthepinspire.net)

Our results could be of interest in this conversation, 
spotlighting motivations for scientists (whose behavior in this 
respect is known to be relatively insensitive to mandates) 
http://arxiv.org/abs/0906.5418 (apologies for those who already 
spotted it on this list in the past). We proved that clear 
advantages exist in the speed of communication and impact of work 
in subject repositories, to the point that subject repositories 
become the (sole) location for scholarly discourse.  Eventually, 
scientists with these field-specific tools rarely read journals 
but acquire most information directly from these resources.

Kind regards,
Anne Gentil-Beccot (CERN - Serials Librarian)
Travis Brooks (SLAC/Stanford - INSPIRE Director of Operations)
Salvatore Mele (CERN - Head of Open Access & INSPIRE Strategic