research, however, because research published in proprietary subscription journals may be prohibited from being deposited in publicly accessible repositories. Any repository is compromised if research that needs to be disseminated quickly and broadly cannot be disseminated openly.
It is not desirable to disseminate research linked to PSI in a journal that is expensive to readers or that takes a long time from when an article is submitted to the time it is published. These considerations were taken into account when the International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research was launched. It is an online journal published by the European Commission that is free and is available at http://ijsdir.jrc.ec.europa.eu.
It uses the Creative Commons licensing so that authors retain their full rights, and it is listed in the directory of open access journals, which adds to its visibility. As soon as an author submits an article, it is published on the web in a review session. This means that one’s research is disseminated immediately, even before it goes through the peer-review process. Therefore, if an author is looking for an online academic outlet to disseminate research in this area, the International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research is a potential vehicle, and it is one way in which the European Commission is supporting this type of activity. An online PSI journal could emulate this model.
One issue requiring further clarification is that there were somewhat different ideas between breakout groups A and B about what an online repository is. Group B talked about repositories in the context of exchanging information about surveys and questionnaires. The subject came up in the context of surveying businesses. To that end, the Office of Fair Trade reported that it had very good success with surveying PSI holders and businesses who were using PSI information. However, the discussion focused more broadly on exchanging information about surveys, what the reasons are for doing this, and what the big questions are that one is trying to address. Only after reaching consensus on those issues would it make sense to try to work out ways to develop a common survey questionnaire or to add questions to existing surveys.
Group A considered this focus on surveys as just one function within an active repository platform. The discussion in that group noted that it is important to emphasize the main goal here: to maximize and optimize the economic and social values of PSI. The repository, the manual, and the research are means to supporting that end.
There are countries that are now applying policies that are not in good agreement with the PSI principles being developed by the OECD. Principles are fine, but they may be forgotten or ignored even before they are adopted. They will be useless if they are not taken one step further.
In order to maximize the economic and social values of any PSI repository, representatives of the member states or of the organizations involved will need to be consulted by repository managers on how to mobilize all stakeholder communities. The autonomy that these representatives have in deciding their agenda may be limited. Then the repository managers will need to contact businesses, which are crucial in changing mindsets and which may also be able to do part of the work. Success will not happen overnight, but these repositories are the places in which information may be put together and good practices shared.