Where did all the abstracts go?
Facts & History:
- In 2012, the Virginia Henderson International Nursing Library (the VHL) transitioned from an abstract service to the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository, a full-text scholarly and clinical repository (the Henderson Repository).
- The original abstract-only entries (the "abstracts") gathered by the VHL were kept as a foundation for the Henderson Repository.
- Neither STTI, the Henderson Repository, or the VHL owned copyright to or possessed the files described by these abstracts.
- The abstracts were not meant to be a permanent part of the repository. One of the requirements of the Henderson Repository is that an item record must have an attached file (i.e., the file that is described by the record's abstract).*
- The Henderson Repository launched a 2-year abstract preservation campaign that ended on 1 July, 2017. Authors were given the opportunity to provide the full-text files that matched the abstract entries and preserve their records in the repository.
- All abstracts were removed from the Henderson Repository on 1 July, 2017 leaving only full-text records.
Reasoning & Research:
- The abstracts in the Henderson Repository were not related to published articles. They were abstracts of posters, presentations, reports, and other non-published transitory items
- The success of the abstract service relied on authors' continued participation and willingness and ability to provide the full-text files at the request of other researchers and clinicians, many of whom are not active STTI members. This last aspect further inhibited the repository staff from making the necessary connections between authors and patrons.
- As the abstracts aged (97% were over 7 years old), author participation declined and the service was ineffective to those seeking information.**
- Authors were unwilling or unable to share the files.
- Authors contact emails were invalid.
- Items were never published in journals or it was impossible to located them given the information available in the abstract.
*Abstract-only entries may be allowed when an item has been published in a traditional journal. The Henderson Repository works with the journals in these cases.
**Decline in participation is expected and is backed up by research.
Timothy H. Vines, Arianne Y.K. Albert, Rose L. Andrew, Florence Débarre, Dan G. Bock, Michelle T. Franklin, Kimberly J. Gilbert, Jean-Sébastien Moore, Sébastien Renaut, Diana J. Rennison, The Availability of Research Data Declines Rapidly with Article Age, Current Biology, Volume 24, Issue 1, 2014, Pages 94-97, ISSN 0960-9822, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.014.