Re: Self-Archiving the Refereed Journal Literature

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 17:57:36 +0100

On Wed, 2 Jun 1999, forsdyke wrote:

> df> Once again, I agree whole-heartedly. However, I do not see why the
> df> private sector could not appreciate all your points and get into this
> df> act, rather than leave it to the Physicists and (perhaps) NIH to
> df> spell-out the doom of much of the paper literature. One of the major
> df> publishing houses could, tomorrow, open up a secure and internationally
> df> replicated archive and charge $100 a shot for straight deposits, $200
> df> for peer-reviewed "authenticated" deposits, etc. Promising new advances
> df> in "hypersearching the web" (Scientific American June 1999), will
> df> greatly facilitate the task of sifting all this literature.
>sh> So what is all this nonsense about commercial publishers coming in at
>sh> $100 a pop? Since when are publishers server-providers? Do you think
>sh> their one calling is to slap a toll on whatever we try to do?
>sh> You are thinking in all the old, wrong categories.
df> Well, someone has got to pay. Either the producer, or the user, or
df> an organization (the state).

Pay for what, to whom? The quality control is a service provided by the
journal publisher. That should be paid for by the user, which is the
author's institution, out of a small part of its savings from S/L/P

The author will self-archive locally (on his institutional home-server)
and globally (on his discipline's global server). The latter will be
supported at a disciplinary or multidisciplinary level, as the Los
Alamos Archive and NCSTRL are (and, one hopes, the E-Biomed and
Scholars' Forum Archives will be), but nothing analogous to a place to
put an S/L/P toll-barrier to the reader will exist.

df> Users, particularly in third world
df> countries should not be asked to pay.

No reader/user will pay anywhere. Third-world author/users who cannot
pay the tiny publication charges can be subsidized from a joint slush
funds. Such easily and obviously resolved trivia should not detain us.

df> The literature should be freely
df> available. Organizations who subsidize sometimes attach strings.

And sometimes they don't, especially if they are OUR organizations
(universitiees, funding bodies, learned societies). But the principal
string from which to free the literature is the reader-end price-tag

df> Perhaps
df> the best alternative is the knowledge producer paying the private
df> sector? The volume would make it profitable, since once the system was
df> up-and-running, it would not be overly expensive to run (e.g. the
df> Physics communities example).

Who should pay whom for what? You are looking for place-holders for
expenses and services that only made sense in the S/L/P-toll world.
Don't try to recreate them in the online self-archiving world: there's
no need nor place for them there.

Stevan Harnad
Professor of Cognitive Science
Department of Electronics and phone: +44 1703 592-582
Computer Science fax: +44 1703 592-865
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton
Received on Wed Feb 10 1999 - 19:17:43 GMT

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