Re: ACS meeting comments on e-prints

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 16:37:40 +0100

On Tue, 4 Apr 2000, Dr. Stephen R. Heller wrote:

> At the ACS meeting last week theer were some interesting comments on the
> many activities discussed in this forum. A write up on this is available
> at:
> The opening paragraph says:
> The message from scientific publishers was clear. Government
> intervention in the field of journals and databases is not only
> unwelcome, but possibly unconstitutional too. This was one of
> many fascinating topics discussed as part of the popular CIN
> session at the ACS Spring Meeting in San Francisco this week.

It will be interesting to see how government intervention in providing
researchers with the means to publicly disseminate their research findings
-- often funded by government research grants that mandate public
dissemination, and always given away by their authors for free --
can be construed as unconstitutional.

ACS's WISH to construe government support of open archiving of research
as unconstitutional (or in some other way objectionable and to be
resisted) is perfectly understandable, just as it is perfectly
understandable that another organization may wish the Appelate Court to
find their practises nonmonopolistic.

But wishing something to be construed as nonconstitutional or nonmonopolistic
(because otherwise it threatens revenue streams) is not quite the same as its
actually being so.

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of this ongoing discussion of providing free
access to the refereed journal literature is available at the American
Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00):

You may join the list at the site above.

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Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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