From: Chris Armstrong <lisqual_at_CIX.CO.UK>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 10:17:00 +0100

>Perhaps I could ask you to make explicit exactly what
>the implications of your a-priori worries are, for this
>transition (be it ever so "longish")

Steve Hitchcock may have answered this to some extent:
"a good eprint archive is an authority because it
provides a service that is clearly labelled." My worries
have to do with uninformed or naive use - something which
may be impossible or unlikely if items ARE labelled and
if the label is sufficiently informative.

>trivial semantics of "publishing" ... The typescript Q
>sent to me above, is a "publication," by this general
>(and irrelevant) legal definition.

NO it is not - publication means making available or
disseminating to a mass not to one individual (Publish:
to make generally known; publisher: one who distributes
to the public). You are confusing the issues with these

>For if there IS an official, published version, and it
>resides in the pages of journal Q, then it seems that
>the web versions are very much like author-supplied

Not at all. The difference lies in their authority in
being published by the "official" publisher on the web
site of that publisher.

>The sign-posts can be made as clear as we like.
>(Self-archived drafts could even carry a health warning,
>if people thought it necessary!)

So now we come to the crux of the matter: I DO,
EMPHATICALLY think it is necessary that they carry a
health warning (your phrase): a label stating clearly
what the paper is. The label should be a part of _each_
paper (much like a copyright statement or a title page)
and should have standard form and content.

Only this will give true LIBERATION of access; without
labelling the liberation may entrap the unwary! I know
physicists have been doing this for some years (archiving
not entrapping, sorry!). My concern is that should your
approach be adopted wholesale, some archives may not be
so well administered and may not make their function and
status clear to naive users.

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

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