Re: Incentives

From: Jim Till <till_at_UHNRES.UTORONTO.CA>
Date: Sat, 2 Sep 2000 03:36:37 -0400

On Wed, 30 Aug 2000, Peter Singer wrote:

> In response to the critiques of my original post, I have published an
> article on freedom of information and incentives. I argue that the
> literature will only be truly free when incentives in science are
> designed to reward rather than penalize open access publication.

There's an interesting article in the current issue of Science, by Robert
F. Service, entitled: "Chemists Toy With the Preprint Future" (Science
2000; 289(5484) 1 Sept, 1445-1446) at:

Two excerpts:

"Last week, the giant publishing house Elsevier Science launched the first
electronic archive for chemistry preprints through its ChemWeb

"Elsevier's own journals will publish articles that appear first on
ChemWeb. Indeed, Elsevier--which is ACS's chief competitor in the
chemistry journal publishing business-- may be counting on ChemWeb to give
its journals an edge among some chemists".

So, the incentive for authors is that they can, if they submit an article
to an Elsevier journal, avoid the policy of American Chemical Society
journals (such as JACS) that posting preprints on ChemWeb would be
considered to be "prior publication".

It's noted in the article in Science that, in this way, ChemWeb apparently
hopes to attract the best of those authors who are interested in
distributing their research results quickly. ChemWeb apparently also hopes
to generate enough traffic to attract enough advertisers to fund the site.
The full text of papers will be deleted from the site after publication in
a conventional journal, but an abstract and a link to the journal article
will be retained.

The ChemWeb chemistry preprint server can be reached via:

Jim Till
Toronto, Canada
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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