On 27 Feb 2012, at 13:31, Diane Hillmann wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 5:25 AM, Owen Stephens <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> providers provide such intermediate pages (, for instance). The
> other issue driving providers towards intermediate pages is that it allows
> them to continue to derive statistics from usage of their materials, which
> direct access URIs and multiple web caches don't.  For providers dependent
> on external funding, this is a biggie.

Definitely proof of use is a big issue - and one I've seen in other scenarios (for example, Museum's discussing whether to open up access to collections online) although it really feels like the tail wagging the dog. However, if this is *the* key issue for repositories then it would be good to look at alternative approaches - for example it would be possible to provide an API back from services with usage stats per paper/URI, or possibly simply pass on 'clicks' when a cached paper is accessed.

I realise that this depends on cooperation of the third party, and you aren't going to always get this - but then, get perfection when tracking use is never going to happen. Perhaps we need to both be more robust in justifying open access as part of a public good mission (otherwise you could just leave it to the publishers?) and consider the question of measuring and reporting impact of offering papers in repositories in a more sophisticated way.

On the otherhand, it may be that repository managers/institutions have other reasons for not wanting the full-text to be directly accessed - e.g. they believe that it would be against some of the terms and conditions set by publishers regarding self-archiving (or seen to be encouraging others to break the T&C?).