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Re: [BOAI] Formats for electronic dissemination

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad AT>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 18:30:42 +0000 (GMT)

Threading: [BOAI] Formats for electronic dissemination from tarabore AT
      • This Message
             Re: [BOAI] Formats for electronic dissemination from holl AT

On Mon, 27 Oct 2003, Dario Taraborelli wrote:

> As far as I know, the current version of Eprints allows users to deposit a
> document in either open standards (like HTML, PDF, PS, DVI etc.) or
> semi-open (like RTF) and proprietary formats (like DOC, PPT, XLS etc.).
> Correct me if I'm wrong: 

This is not quite correct. If you mean, then you *must*
deposit a document in screen-readable form; this mostly means in one
of the open standards (including also TeX, and XML -- but I believe
PDF, which is acceptable, is proprietary). Then *in addition* you may
also attach a version in a non-screen-readable format. A document in
*only* a proprietary format like WORD is not accepted by the software.

> there is a huge
> debate in the digital library community about how to grant accessibility
> and perennity of electronic content

But self-archiving is not about perennity, just about accessibility,
because the self-archived versions of toll-access articles are merely
*supplements* to and not *substitutes* for the publisher's proprietary
toll-access version. Preservation concerns should accordingly be focussed
on the proprietary version until and unless the self-archived version
begins to be the *only* version (because of a transition to open-access

Having said that: even this parallel form of supplementary access for
the have-nots needs to last long enough to keep providing the open
access until and unless there is a global transition to open-access
publishing. And that it does. Self-archived papers (in TeX, PDF, PS,
HTML, etc.) are still as accessible today as when they were first
self-archived, some over a decade and a half ago.

Please do not conflate digital preservation with open-access provision
-- at least not while the open-access cupboards are still bare and there
is next to nothing to preserve!

Stevan Harnad

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