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My lab:

In our article, we describe our vision of libraries taking over the archiving and making accessible of scholarly articles, as I have suggested here numerous times. However, this vision does not immediately address the problem of accessing back-issue archives which largely still remain in the hands of toll-access corporate publishers. Micah Allen is suggesting to exercise a little bit of civil disobedience and use a mash-up of online technologies to liberate scholarly articles in a crowdsourcing effort. In two separate posts he first outlines the idea and then provides detailed technical instructions as to how to go about making research accessible à la Aaaron Swartz. He calls it the #papester initiative (think Napster).

The general idea is to use the Twitter hashtag #icanhazpdf to locate in-demand articles behind paywalls, then those with access to the articles deposit the PDF versions in a publicly accessible folder, maybe on DropBox simply using DropBox Linker. One could also try and deposit all the PDF files in torrents, using magnet links to locate them. These URNs could be used to aggregate any comments, links, citations and other usage data to arrive at a whole suite of post-publication impact-data. In fact, this sort of distributed storage and archiving system is extremely robust, sustainable and the use of URNs allows for permanent identifiers which are at least as reliable (if not more so) than DOIs. Which is precisely why I find the combination of torrent technology and magnet links ideal for the technical implementation of a lbrary-based scholarly communication system.

Head on over to Micah's blog to read more about all the juicy and delicious #papester details.

See also: part I: illusions, part III: concerns.
Posted on Thursday 17 January 2013 - 10:45:39 comment: 0

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