I attended my first ICNIRS conference in 1991 in Aberdeen; the Proceedings of which we published jointly with VCH, the German Chemical Society publisher (now Wiley-VCH). Since then we have published a number of ICNIRS Proceedings (1995, 1997 and 2007 as Special Issues of JNIRS, 1999, 2001, 2003 and more recently 2017). We have just made these, with the exception of the JNIRS issues which are now published by SAGE, freely available at /nir-proceedings.
There were two thoughts behind our decision to do this. Initially, the fact that a number of proceedings are very difficult to obtain or no longer available led to the view that we should try and preserve them whilst we still could. Subsequently, there was the realisation that the only way to unlock the significant value of this repository of NIR research was to make it freely available.
I believe that the Proceedings of ICNIRS conferences contain important information for today’s researchers that can easily be overlooked and probably isn’t discoverable through regular search methods. The ability to access this archive may save researchers time and research effort, avoiding “reinventing the wheel”.
The first stage has been to make available the Proceedings from 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2017 available: 2017 was already published Open Access. In addition, with the kind permission of the organisers, 2009 and 2011 are also available: more than 1,000 chapters in total. We are talking to other organisers and hope to add some more in the future. I doubt whether we will be able to provide a complete collection since a number were published by commercial publishers, from whom it may be difficult to obtain permission, and digitising print copies will be a lot of work. However, I think we have made a good start.