EPrints: repositories for grassroots preservation.
At The Sun Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group (Sun PASIG), Paris, France,
14 - 16 Nov 2007.
The aim of this presentation is to tell a story. In the context of a meeting which has mainly dealt with the issues of national libraries and enormous digital collections, this is a presentation that addresses a different scale. It is a scale that is both smaller and larger at the same time. It is about collecting individual items from individual researchers - the so-called grass roots - through institutional repositories. Although this seems small and insignificant in comparison to tales of humongous digital collections, the day-by-day aggregated collection of individual items from a community of knowledge producers adds up to the entire scholarly and scientific literature - as well as its supporting data, experimental analyses, discussions and commentaries.
This story about EPrints focuses on the challenges of acquiring data and documents in order to build up a global collection. The challenges listed are those relating to changing the working practices and use patterns of individuals and their host institutions in order to support long term preservation.
The story necessarily enlarges on the need to make things easier and more useful for the author/depositor/knowledge producer in order to encourage the first stage of preservation: acquisition.
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