(Via Open Access News.)"The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B." -- James Yorke, mathematician[...] Imagine a world in which we talked about 'research blogs' or 'research feeds' rather than 'repositories', in which the 'open access' policy rhetoric used phrases like 'resource outputs should be made freely available on the Web' rather than 'research outputs should be deposited into institutional or other repositories', and in which accepted 'good practice' for researchers was simply to make research output freely available on the Web with an associated RSS or Atom feed.
Wouldn't that be a more intuitive and productive scholarly communication environment than what we have currently? ...
Since [arXiv], we have largely attempted to position repositories as institutional services, for institutional reasons, in the belief that metadata harvesting will allow us to aggregate stuff back together in meaningful ways.
Is it working? I'm not convinced. Yes, we can acknowledge our failure to put services in place that people find intuitively compelling to use by trying to force their use thru institutional or national mandates? But wouldn't it be nicer to build services that people actually came to willingly?
In short, do we need a repositories plan B?
axXiv has RSS feeds, which I rely on. Research blogs like Machine Learning (Theory) recommend interesting papers from time to time. But what I would like is to have feeds for the new papers and readings of researchers whose work I want to follow. Institutional repositories aggregate material in the wrong way for this, and authors lack convenient tools to generate feeds automatically as they post new papers.
I think I'll start a blog that just lists the papers found interesting or I have recently written.