Re: EPRINTS = PREPRINTS (unrefereed) + POSTPRINTS (refereed)

From: Steve Hitchcock <sh94r_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 00:43:33 +0100

Paul Ginsparg defined an eprint as "something self-archived by the author".
Isn't that the clearest distinction, and an obvious one for this forum to
draw? OAi is predicated on this definition, and it draws a very clear line
between the two main types of archive - LANL, and the emerging PubMed
Central model - that are available today.


At 11:43 13/05/00 +0100, you wrote:
>In "Souped-up search engines" (Nature May 11 2000)
>Declan Butler wrote:
> > in February, the operators of the world's leading
> > archives of electronic preprints, or 'e-prints', agreed standard
> > formats that should allow scientists to search across all of them
> > simultaneously.
>Two errors here, one small, one not so small. The small one is that it
>wasn't in February. The other one -- rather bigger and leading to
>endless misunderstandings -- is that "e-prints" is NOT synonymous with
>"electronic preprints." (I am beginning to believe that this persistent
>erroneous equation of the two may be one of the factors delaying us
>on the road to the optimal and the inevitable.)
>EPRINTS (or e-prints) are electronic versions of BOTH "preprints" and
>PREPRINTS in turn means pre-refereeing (i.e., unrefereed) research
>papers, almost all of them prepared for submission to refereed journals
>(or refereed conference proceedings) for refereeing.
>POSTPRINTS are post-refereeing (i.e., refereed, revised, accepted final
>drafts of) research papers, all of them appearing in or soon to appear
>in refereed journals (or refereed conference proceedings).
>Incorrectly equating eprints with preprints and forgetting about
>postprints gives the entirely erroneous impression that the free, online
>eprint archives are only, or primarily, for unrefereed research. This is
>not true, and never has been true. Authors can and do self-archive their
>preprints (first, naturally), and, once they are refereed, revised and
>accepted, their postprints too, in the same archives (either in place
>of, or, better, in addition to, their embryonic predecessors).
>Not making it explicitly clear that "eprints" = "preprints +
>postprints" can lead to confusing either/or statements like these:
> > This Santa Fe Convention will allow e-prints to be tagged as
> > 'refereed' or 'unrefereed', along with other information such as
> > author and keywords. Using software that will become available
> > this month, any scientist could, in principle, set up an e-print or
> > refereed website, or a site of conference proceedings, in the
> > knowledge that it would be compatible with this global system.
>The first half sounds like it understands that eprints consist of
>BOTH preprints (unrefereed) AND postprints (refereed), but the second
>sounds again like EITHER/OR.
>Let me accordingly make it quite explicit: The refereed/unrefereed
>tag is meant to distinguish papers (or embryonic stages of papers) in
>the SAME archive. The soon-to-be-released Santa-Fe-compliant, eprint
>software in question is intended, in the first instance, for
>adoption by universities to provide an immediate interperable open
>archive for the self-archiving of all their researchers papers (pre-
>and post-refereeing), in all disciplines. The "refereed" (and
>"journal-name") metadata tags will then allow all the distributed open
>eprint archive clones to be collected by open search and harvesting
>services into one global searchable, full-text-accessible "virtual
>collection" of the refereed literature, with the user not having to
>worry about where the actual papers happen to be located.
>Secondarily, the same software can be used to establish
>discipline-specific central open eprint archives by Learned Societies,
>open-archives for Conference Proceedings by Learned Conference
>Organizers or even journal-specific open-archives by refereed journal
>The open eprint archive software, however, is predicated on
>fire-wall-free access to the full texts for one and all. It is
>configurable, so in principle that free access can be blocked -- not
>just for financial fire-walling, but for institution-internal purposes
>-- however, it was designed in the interests of open rather than
>restricted uses.
>The Nature article unfortunately omitted the URL for this software:
> > If these efforts succeed in weaving a seamless web from the
> > scientific literature, researchers should find that the hours spent
> > trawling through pages of irrelevant search returns are
> > consigned to history.
>Fire-wall-free citaton linking of the entire full-text eprint
>literature (preprint and postprint) is indeed the optimal and
>inevitable outcome toward which all these efforts are dedicated.
>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
>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.
>Discussion can be posted to:
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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