Re: problem of the Ginsparg Archive as self-archiving model

From: Undetermined origin c/o LISTSERV administrator <owner-LISTSERV_at_LISTSERVER.SIGMAXI.ORG>
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 09:31:34 -0400

Not that I have time for this but it seemed a couple of brief notes
were in order...

"ransdell, joseph m." wrote:

> Now, in the scientific and scholarly world the channels (methods, media,
> customary practices) of communication that make it possible for one
> person to actually communicate something to another about a
> subject-matter of common interest are quite various, [...]
> Has anyone ever tried to catalog these and figure out in a systematic
> way what they respectively contribute to the overall scientific
> understanding and how they do it?

I took a crack at a (subjective and semi-qualitative) view of the modes
of scientific communication in a talk/paper I did for ALPSP/Learned
Publishing - which I happen to have put on the web at:

- you can skip the text (which doesn't go into that part much anyway)
and look at the diagrams towards the end - the idea is to represent
scientific communications with two dimensions basically representing
level of formality on one axis, and the size of the community exposed
to/affected by it on the other. I'd appreciate any comments on this
since I think it makes a lot of sense, but have only received a couple
of notes from people since I put it out there.

"Andrew Odlyzko" wrote:
> > That will be
> > outweighed by the gains for scholars and the general public, but
> > those large gains will be spread much more thinly. As a result
> > there are few people with a large interest in pushing for a rapid
> > change.
> I disagree. Refereed journals are neither written for nor read by the
> general public. They are written by researchers, for researchers. And
> researchers are the ones who would gain from the freeing
> of this literature. (The public too would gain, but only indirectly, as
> its benefits from scholarship/science always are.)
> Well, that is another point where we disagree. Yes, you are right,
> refereed journals are written by researchers, for researchers. But
> I think that is changing, in two ways:
> (i) There is increasing pressure for more interdisciplinary work,
> which forces narrow specialties to try to make their communications
> understandable to wider (although still scholarly) groups.
> and
> (ii) There is latent interest in research results by the general
> public, interest that is stimulated by easy location and access
> to that information. Here is a quote from "The rapid evolution
> of scholarly communication":

Both have been our experience. One surprise for me with our late (not so
lamented) eprint archive was that we actually got a substantial number
of referrals from a reference in USA Today...


Arthur P. Smith                                 email:
Manager, Database Group                  The American Physical Society
1 Research Rd. Box 9000, Ridge, NY 11961-9000   phone: +1-631-591-4072
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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