Tuesday, July 31, 2007

E-LIS: the Open Archive for Library and Information Science

E-LIS: the Open Archive for Library and Information Science, by Heather Morrison, Imma Subirats Coll, Antonella de Robbio, and Norm Medeiros, has just been published in The Charleston Advisor (TCA), Volume 9, Number 1, July 2007 , pp. 56-61(6).

As noted in the article, we are E-LIS Editors and Administrators,although we have followed the format of the peer-reviewed TCA reviews and aimed for objectivity.

In brief, E-LIS is the largest of the open access archives for LIS, by far; as of July 31, 2007, E-LIS has more than 6,200 documents. Strengths of E-LIS include support for any language (currently there are 22 languages, however more will be added if needed), strong English and Spanish language content, and high quality of contents. More than half the documents in E-LIS are peer reviewed, and many of the remainder are scholarly in nature, e.g. theses, conference proceedings. As an LIS e-prints archive, it is perhaps only natural that E-LIS is exemplary in its organization and searchability, including extensive browsing capabilities, and the JITA classification team specially developed by the E-LIS team, for E-LIS.

From a personal perspective, what is most amazing to me is E-LIS as a global, almost entirely volunteer organization. Hardware and personnel support provided by CILEA in Italy is most appreciated. The Editorial Team consists of volunteers from over 40 countries. Participating as a member of the E-LIS team is highly recommended, as a way to work collaboratively with librarian colleagues from around the globe.

This global participation highlights one of the reasons why I recommend searching E-LIS first: the results of an E-LIS search have a much broader, more diverse perspective than many of the search tools we may be more familiar with. Even though many languages are supported, every article includes an English abstract - and sometimes, the abstract is enough. Enough, at least, to give us an idea of the commonalities and differences between our efforts, and those of our colleagues.

Recently, I am proud to say, the Canadian Library Association approved a policy which included investigating a partnership with E-LIS. [Disclosure: I am the Convenor of the CLA Task Force on Open Access].

This post is part of the Creative Globalization series.

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