One of the points I made was that no matter how desirable it was to move people off of commercially hosted services such as Dropbox, it wouldn't be easy
This ease of sharing and the fact that Dropbox is hosted outwith Australia is something that of course gives intellectual property managers the willies, but it is also a fact of life, and something that has to be dealt with - in other words, as Dropbox is already out there in the wild, and whatever is provided as a replacement has to be at least as good, and at least as flexible - which of course means it will bring the same intellectual property concerns.
Dropbox, and the others, such as Evernote and Box, are in with the woodwork as they already have widespread adoption.
I’ve just had a real world example in which a researcher shared data with me via Dropbox that he wanted to have uploaded to our data repository, and have a Digital Object Identifier minted for that data so that it was citable.
In my conversations with him I followed the party line and suggested he use Cloudstor, AARNET’s file transfer service, which is based on FileSender to transfer the data to me.
As a service, it’s pretty easy to use. However, my client used Dropbox instead, simply because it’s what he was familiar with and he knew that it worked.
I am, of course, as bad as everyone else. I routinely share documents and notebooks stored in Evernote with colleagues, and share Google documents with colleagues, so I’m most definitely not going to complain about using Dropbox here - after all it’s exactly what I would have done, and as I’ve said before I’ve had publishers share material for review in exactly the same way.
Instead of complaining, I’m going to take this as a learning experience:
- services like Cloudstor, are not going to succeed without a major educational campaign to raise awareness among the user community
- competitor services like Dropbox are already well established and user have a high degree of familarity with them - any educational campaign needs to focus on cloudstor’s unique features
- whatever value proposition is made needs to be relevant to the users - so if we want to build a unique selling proposition around keeping intellectual property onshore we’d better make it relevant and explain that as well
And if it were me my first question would be
If it’s open access does it matter it’s gone via Dropbox ?
And I must admit, I’d be hard pressed to find a reason why it mattered …
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