[Tdwg-guid] Demise of Phyloinformatics journal
Chuck.Miller at mobot.org
Fri Nov 24 20:52:51 CET 2006
What is the obligation of a publisher when it decides to cease to exist? Should it take steps to ensure the availability of its completed publications? If not, then what? If the publications just disappear, then no DOI can fix it. The fact that Internet Archive has a copy is a fortunate accident and possibly the fall-back for these situations.
Does anyone know who was the publisher of Phyloinformatics? Why did the journal go offline?
From: tdwg-guid-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of P. Bryan Heidorn
Sent: Fri 11/24/2006 12:21 PM
To: tdwg-guid at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Taxacom
Subject: Re: [Tdwg-guid] Demise of Phyloinformatics journal
The problem and solution has less to do with the Internet and more to
do with institutional longevity.
The permanence of paper has less to do with acid free paper and more
to do with the relative permanence of the institutions that house
them. Most paper documents over a hundred years old have been lost
forever because there were no permanent institutions to hold them
until the advent of public and academic libraries. Papers in
individual scientists collections are discarded when they die. War
and economic upheavals left paper in rain and fire. It is foolhardy
to assume that what is on paper is safe.
We know that dissemination of information in electronic form is must
more economical than paper dissemination. The issue is development of
proper institutions with adequate stable funding to develop and
maintain copies into "perpetuity". Commercial publishers, are clearly
not the answer for preservation. Corporations and publishers go out
of business all the time. It is only because libraries kept paper
copies that we still have a record.
Digital preservation and access problems exist for all sciences and
government documents so there is no need to the biodiversity
community to go it alone on this. We are just in the beginning of the
digital publishing history and have not yet established adequate
preservation mechanisms within libraries to handle data curation,
preservation and access in all the situations where it is necessary.
There are projects underway world wide to address this issue. In the
United States the Library of Congress The National Digital
Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program http:// <http:///>
www.digitalpreservation.gov/ is one example. The U.S. Government
agency the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) http:// <http:///>
www.imls.gov/ began grant programs to train librarians and museum
curators in digital librarianship and most recently in digital data
21centuryLibrarian.shtm is addressing the education issues. The
University of North Carolina http://www.ils.unc.edu/digccurr2007/
papers.html and the University of Illinois http://sci.lis.uiuc.edu/
DCEP/ have begun working on best practices and education. This week
say the successful Data Curation Conference (DCC) in Glasgow,
Scotland http://www.dcc.ac.uk/events/dcc-2006/. DCC will be running
"Long-term Curation and Preservation of Journals"
31 January 2007. (as an aside, at DCC conference I saw results of a
survey in "Attitudes and aspirations in a diverse world: the Project
StORe perspective on scientific repositories" Graham Pryor,
University of Edinburgh http://www.dcc.ac.uk/events/dcc-2006/
programme/presentations/g-pryor.ppt that more scientists trusted
publishers to save their digital documents than their home
institutions and libraries! It is clear that scientists are generally
not trained in economics and that the information technology
management of many institutions must be abysmal!
We need something like to 5 institution rule for distribution to
apply for digital documents. Digital documents need to be replicated
as well for both access and preservation. Institutions like the
Internet Archive help with some of the current problems.
Institutional Repositories (IR) are another. Many universities and
libraries world wide are beginning these. It is authors'
responsibility to deposit their publications in these institutions
and to support their creation. JSTOR and other institutions also
exist. They all have their weaknesses and additional research,
development and funding is needed to adequately address the issues.
Also, all journals need to be managed using good data curation
principles but al too often the publishers in spite of best
intentions are not educated in such issues.
Digital publishing of taxonomic literature are not the full answer
for current poor dissemination of taxonomic literature. The deposit
of a published name in five institutions is a preservation rule, not
a dissemination rule. We hurt science and human health is we do not
at the same time address the information access issue. We need to
aspire to better dissemination and preservation. Electronic
publishing will help but only if appropriate institutions in place.
On the smaller issue, DOIs for publications, electronic or paper is a
no-brainer. URLs were never designed to be permanent. URLs were
designed to be reused and be flexible. With DOIs we can place the
same paper in multiple digital or physical locations and reliably
P. Bryan Heidorn Graduate School of Library and Information
pheidorn at uiuc.edu University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MC-493
(V)217/ 244-7792 501 East Daniel St., Champaign, IL 61820-6212
(F)217/ 244-3302 https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/pheidorn/www
On Nov 24, 2006, at 9:54 AM, Renato De Giovanni wrote:
> Thanks for sharing with us the information. I already imagined that
> things like that could happen, but it's always better to argue having
> real examples.
> Anyway, just in case someone reading the story decides to blame URLs,
> I just wanted to say that in my opinion the main issue here is not
> the technology or the GUID format being used. It's the business model
> and the management strategy.
> I can easily imagine similar things happening to DOIs, LSIDs or other
> kinds of issued GUIDs if the institution(s) behind them simply
> Best Regards,
> IT Researcher
> CRIA - Reference Center on Environmental Information
> On 24 Nov 2006 at 13:37, Roderic Page wrote:
>> The Open Access web-only journal "Phyloinformatics" seems to have
>> disappeared, with the Internet address http:// <http:///>
>> now up for sale. This means the articles have just disappeared!
>> There weren't many papers published, but some were interesting and
>> been cited in the mainstream literature.
>> This also illustrates the problems with linking to digital resources
>> using URLs, as opposed to identifiers such as DOIs. With the loss of
>> the domain name, this journal has effectively died.
>> A sobering lesson...
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