Persistent Identifiers Connect a Scholarly Record with Many Versions – Association of Research Libraries

“When publishers speak about linked research and scholarship only in terms of the market transition to open access, it is an inherently limiting view of scholarly research. In this context, concern for the version of record reflects a business interest, not a scholarly value. As a stewardship strategy, insisting on only publisher-hosted versions of record does not align with a modern research workflow inclusive of multiple tools and potential repositories. Recently, a number of publishers have expressed the “version of record” concern with regards to the PlanS “Rights Retention Strategy.” Yet, as was pointed out in the response by cOAlition S, establishing and maintaining relationships to other versions of articles or research assets has already been shown to be successful in disciplinary and scholarly communities.

Whereas the published, printed version of the research article was once the authoritative source of research, new modes of publishing and the publishing of other research outputs (postprints, protocols, data, code, etc.) have made the term “version of record” all but irrelevant. The scholarly communications landscape has already moved into what Herbert Van de Sompel, Bianca Kramer, and Jeroen Bosman call a “record of versions,” where persistent identifiers (PIDs) enhance the discoverability and linking of research outputs regardless of where those outputs are housed….

The continued insistence on “version of record”—including using the VOR date instead of the issue date to calculate journal impact factors—is also a subtle attempt by some commercial publishers to continue to exert control over the entire scholarly communications ecosystem and to be seen as sole authorities or stewards of research publishing. Thus, there is a pressing need to shift the dialogue from a single “version of record” to a “record of versions” that encompasses multiple versions and outputs, and makes room for a more diverse and inclusive publishing environment….”