Branding, URLs, HANDLEs and DOIs in repositories.

        The indicator used for estimating the visibility (impact) of the items deposited in the repositories is the number of external inlinks they received, considering as the targeted URLs those that are using the domain or subdomain of the repository. For example:*

where the asterisk refer to all the webpages and documents independently of their format.

        Surprisingly a large number of repositories are giving advice for linking not directly to the full text document in the archive, but to metadata page that frequently was done by other people than the paper authors themselves, and give access to information already available in the final document (title, author, affiliation, source, keywords, …). Moreover this recommended link is based on a permanent URL system, a redirecting service that hides completely the name of the repository and the hosted institution, usually the organization to which are affiliated most of the authors depositing in the repository.

        Repository managers have stated that the current method is misleading and it unfairly measures the global impact as it does not take into account the large number of URLs using Handle, the most popular redirecting system. Webometrics editors believe that this is a bad practice as external redirecting is not technically needed; because information about the prestige of the institution is not awarded as its institutional domain is not explicitly included and finally since author rights are severely ignored giving priority to the metadata page, an intellectually secondary document.

        Our position has been defended here and in public forums. Now we want to propose what we think is a good example of best practice in naming documents when they have some permanent code associated that basically preserves institutional brand:

        If a document has a DOI (non-existent example)

MODEL: http://”repositoryhost”/doi/”doinumber”


        If a Handle has been obtained (non-existent example)

MODEL: http://”repositoryhost”/handle/”hundlenumbers”/”filename”.pdf


        In the second example, besides the handle codes it has been added the final document that we suggest to include semantic hints of title, author and year and to end with the correct file type suffix (in this case .pdf).