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Paper: Incorporating Electronic Preprints into an Effective Publishing System
Volume: 153, Library and Information Services in Astronomy III (LISA III)
Page: 127
Authors: Hanisch, R. J.; Payne, H. E.; Huizinga, J. E.; Stevens-Rayburn, S.; Bouton, E. N.; Eichhorn, G.; Boyce, P. B.
Abstract: Preprints continue to play an important role in the astronomical literature, both for rapid dissemination of new results and for establishing institutional benchmarks for quality and productivity. Electronic preprint services have become a popular alternative to paper preprint distribution. As centralized services, however, they ignore the importance of preprints in defining an organization's scientific profile. Moreover, the existing electronic preprint services are far from comprehensive in content (relying totally on author contributions), and there is no systematic tracking of the preprint into the refereed literature. We are now implementing a distributed electronic preprint service which will provide a common index to preprint databases located at separate astronomy institutions. Because maintenance of the preprint databases is distributed, our expectation is that the contents will be much more complete than is the case for the existing services. A key element of our approach is to assign unique identifiers to preprints as they are entered into the system, and to use these identifiers to track the preprint into the refereed literature. Once a preprint is published users of the preprint database will be directed to the published version, with the preprint version deleted from the system. We are also developing simple, portable tools for maintaining a local preprint database. Both these tools and the distributed preprint system infrastructure will be extensible to other ``gray literature'' documents, such as observatory and instrumentation manuals and technical reports.
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