Paul Ginsparg is a theoretical physicist and the developer of ArXiv.org e-print archive while he was a member of staff of Los Alamos National Laboratory in part to address the issue of unequal access in the existing paperpreprint distribution system.
Thus was born xxx.lanl.gov, initially an automated email server (and within a few months also an FTP server), powered by a set of csh scripts. It was originally intended for about 100 submissions per year from a small subfield of high-energy particle physics.
"My hope is that rather than merely using electronic infrastructure as a more efficient means of distribution, the revolution-in-waiting will ultimately lead to a more powerful knowledge structure, fundamentally transforming the ways in which we process and organize scientific data."
arXiv is an open access repository for e-Prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Astrophysics, Nonlinear Sciences, Quantitative Biology and Statistics developed by physicist Paul Ginsparg in 1991 as a means of circulating scientific papers prior to publication. Although the repository initially focused on e-Prints in High Energy Physics (HEP), the focus eventually broadened to related disciplines while maintaining comprehensive coverage of HEP, and has been supported and hosted by Cornell University since 2001.
It is an international project, with dedicated mirror sites in 16 countries, collaborations with U.S. and foreign professional societies and other international organizations. It also helped initiate, and continues to play a leading role, in the growing movement for open access to scholarly literature. The arXiv is entirely scientist driven: articles are deposited by researchers when they choose – either prior to, simultaneous with, or post peer review – and the articles are immediately available to researchers throughout the world. (http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/pdf/ctwatchquarterly-12.pdf)
arXiv content includes:
· Self-archived articles
· Ancillary materials, such as datasets, related to articles
· Conference proceedings
· Overlay journals