Preaching the gospel of self-archiving

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 17:13:55 +0000

On Sat, 11 Mar 2000, Garfield, Eugene wrote:

> Hi Steve:

> Do you have a list or inventory of journal publishers who now have adopted a
> policy similar to Academic Press. I believe Wiley's is about the same. I'm
> on a panel next week in St. Petersburg, Fla concerning electronic
> theses,etc. and I want to preach this gospel of self-archiving and it would
> be good to be able to report as many of these publishers as possible. Gene

Hi Gene,

To have the father of Science Citation Indexing preaching the gospel of
self-archiving will certainly help to hasten the day!

I deliberately don't keep lists because I don't think it is reasonable
or realistic to try to encourage authors to submit their papers only to the
journals with optimal self-archiving policies now. They should continue
to submit to their preferred journals (based on quality, prestige,
impact factor) and get around restrictive copyright transfer policies
that try to forbid online self-archiving in the legal way that Charles
Oppenheim and I have devised (archive unrefereed preprint, submit for
refereeing, revise, then when accepted, archive a separate "corrigenda file"
and let users put the two together: it is legal, it has the same effect
-- freeing the refereed literature -- though a bit less conveniently for
now, and it will be temporary, for soon the rest of the dominos will fall
and everyone will be able to archive the convenient final draft).

There seem to be 3 classes of publishers now, and I can only give
examples rather than an exhaustive list:

(1) The worst guys (e.g., Science, New England Journal of Medicine, all
the American Psychological Association journals), who forbid public
online self-archiving in any form. (These are the ones with whom we
must use the above strategy.) (Some of these journals even have
"embargo" policies -- not legally binding, merely arbitrary policies --
announcing that they will not even REFEREE (let alone publish) a paper
that has been publicly archived online. These embargo policies are absurd and
unenforceable -- authors need merely self-archive with a different
title and some trivial cosmetic differences, and besides, editors of
journals -- who are us, after all -- have no interest in enforcing
such policies, o learly designed to protect revenue-streams rather than
to promote science.)

Of these "worst guys," the ones published by Learned Societies (e.g., APA)
will definitely come round, because they are answerable to their
constituencies and to science. The rest will come round too, but only
once forced by de facto [subversive] practise by researchers; till then
they will try to do whatever they can to preserve the status quo.


    Harnad, S. (1999) Free at Last: The Future of Peer-Reviewed Journals.
    D-Lib Magazine 5(12) December 1999

    Harnad, S. (2000) E-Knowledge: Freeing the Refereed Journal Corpus
    Online. Computer Law & Security Report 16(2) 78-87. [Rebuttal to Bloom
    Editorial in Science and Relman Editorial in New England Journal
    of Medicine]

(2) Journals with incoherent policies, permitting "personal"
self-archiving and not "public" (not realizing that on the Web there is
no difference WHATSOEVER), e.g., Nature, the Academic Press journals,
etc. Their wishful-thinking-based distinctions can safely be ignored;
they could never be made sense of in a court of law.

(3) The progressive journals, led by the American Physical Society,
which permit online self-archiving (though not necessarily of their
copyrighted page-images, which is perfectly fine, since a reformatted
HTML or XML version is much better and more useful than PDF page

So if you want to preach the gospel of self-archiving, preach the
gospel of open archiving <>. That will be
the way my own subversive proposal
<> actually gets
implemented: The Santa Fe interoperability protocol will allow
universities and learned societies to set up interoperable open
archives, all meta-data-tagged according to a simple shared convention;
the result is that all the open archives are automatically drawn
together into one, global, virtual archive. Anyone searching for a paper
in any refereed journal in any discipline, anywhere, will be able to
find and retrieve it without having to worry about which open archive
it's located in.

To accelerate this, Rob Tansley has just about finished converting the
CogPrints archiving software <> into
Santa-Fe-compliant, generic Eprint software
<> which will be given to all
institutions for free so they can instantly and effortlessly set up their
own local Open Archive for all of their authors, in all of their

If librarians ask you what they can do to solve the serials budget
crisis; if university administrators ask you what they can do to
facilitate the freeing of the journal literature online, if researchers
ask what they can do to hasten the day, tell them to set up local open
archives and put all their papers in them! (Eprints should be available
in a few more weeks.)

And if anyone wants a taste of what it will be like navigating the
global virtual library Garfield-style (i.e., via citations) let them
have a look at the demo of the Open Citation project:

> I have been faithfully storing all the various communications
> that you have generated. It is a major task to keep up with your listserv.
> Is there really any reason I should maintain this folder or would it be more
> efficient to just refer to your archive.

I think most of what I send you is archived by American Scientist, so
don't bother archiving it. To find it, just go to:
Cheers, Stevan

Stevan Harnad
Professor of Cognitive Science
Department of Electronics and phone: +44 23-80 592-582
             Computer Science fax: +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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