A modest experiment in the usefulness of electronic archives
As part of a collaborative long-term research project in human-computer interaction (HCI), the use of electronic archiving was studied by making pre-publication material available over the Internet, through anonymous FTP directories and pages on the World Wide Web. The archive was designed to fulfil two aims. First, it was a live experiment in computer supported co-operative work. Documents were no longer prepared and distributed in paper form but were made available electronically for use throughout the project. This resulted in substantial economies in the management of the project, virtually eliminating the need for routine mass duplication of all documents and minimizing postage, courier and facsimile costs. Second, the directories also appeared to function well in support of the rapid dissemination of our results to their potential users outside the project. Data on the use of the archive by project and non-project sites are presented here.