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July 12, 2002


The Chronicle of Higher Education describes the rise of superarchives:

Several colleges are now looking to share more of that work by building "institutional repositories" online and inviting their professors to upload copies of their research papers, data sets, and other work. The idea is to gather as much of the intellectual output of an institution as possible in an easy-to-search online collection. One college has called its proposed repository a "super digital archive."

I'm skeptical. People do what they are motivated to do. Researchers motivation is much the same as everyone else: money. You do research, you publish, and if you do well you attract research dollars and build a kingdom. I don't see a superarchive fitting into that model. Oh, I'm sure some researchers will play, but I can't see them motivating everyone to contribute.