Re: Two layers of research literature

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2000 16:40:34 +0000

On Wed, 1 Nov 2000, George Lundberg wrote:

> I would like to call the attention of this list serve group to an
> internet site called
> There you can find a list of a large (and rapidly growing) number of
> actually free on-line medical journals. There is a burgeoning feast
> that should obviate/alleviate a great deal of the famed S Harnad angst
> about delay/repression/profit/etc
> George Lundberg
> Editor in Chief
> Medscape

I am delighted to hear from George Lundberg about the
freemedicaljournals site, which announces:

               "Within the next three years,
               the most important medical
               journals will be available
               online, free and in full-text.
               The access to free scientific
               knowledge will have a major
               impact on medical practice and
               attract Internet visitors to
               these journals. Journals that
               restrict access to their Web
               sites will lose popularity.

               "The Free Medical Journals Site
               is dedicated to the promotion
               of free access to medical
               journals over the Internet." lists nearly 400 biomedical journals
whose full-text contents are being made available free on-line.

A few of these are not free immediately, but only 6 months after
publication; others are not free in their entirety (including, alas,
the journal I edit, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, whose articles are
free, but commentaries and responses are not); and still others were
free, but are no longer free (e.g., JAMA).

But these developments are very welcome indeed!

All "S Harnad angst" will be obviated:

    (1) when not only the full-text contents of 400 of the biomedical
    journals, but the full-text contents of every last biomedical
    journal are freed online

    (2) when not only the contents of every last biomedical journal,
    but the contents of every journal in every discipline are freed

    (3) when they are all freed immediately, and not after a 6 month

    (4) and when they are all freed forever.

Until that happy day is upon us, we can earnestly applaud such
developments without flagging in the slightest in our efforts to free
this entire literature, forever, through self-archiving, now:

P.S. "S Harnad Angst" is not about "repression/profit/etc." but about
needless barriers to research impact, barriers that it is at last
within the reach of researchers to eliminate, now, forever, without
waiting for any other party to come around to doing it for them.

Once this corpus is free at last, vendors are free to continue selling
for a fee whatever deluxe versions of it there might still be a market
for, on-paper or on-line.

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 the ongoing discussion of providing free
access to the refereed journal literature online 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

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