Re: Workshop on Open Archives Initiative in Europe

From: Steve Hitchcock <sh94r_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 14:37:55 +0000

>What, in essence, IS a (refereed) journal publisher? What is the
>essential service a journal publisher performs, medium-independently,
>and independently of the cost-recovery model?
>A journal publisher is not a printer or a type-setter (if we are speaking
>medium-independently); nor is a publisher a marketer or a fulfiller
>(independently of the cost-recovery model).

Stevan, There is no publisher that sells anything that can be
independent of the cost recovery model, so that is a meaningless caveat.
Publishers are principally marketers. Peer review is just one part of the
package that they market.

The reason I make this point is because it isn't tenable to expect
publishers to rationalise their role solely, or even primarily, as
certifiers of the literature. It isn't so now, and won't be in future.

I understand the argument that freeing the online literature depends on a
continuing system of certification, but nothing depends on, or is achieved
by, this limited view of the role of publishers.

It's at odds to argue that we should maintain peer review while the
alternatives are untested, yet urge publishers to adopt untested economic

Leave these issues to the markets. Those of us who promote self-archiving
have to create new markets undistracted by reforming peer review, as you
say; equally, they should be undistracted by ideas of reforming journal
publishing. These services exist and will continue to exist, just as you
want, and will adapt if the self-archivers are successful.

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:45:55 GMT