Re: Self-Archiving and the reaction of publishers

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 17:10:50 +0000

On Fri, 3 Nov 2000, Martin Melaugh wrote:

> Has any academic expressed a worry about the possible reaction of a journal
> publisher if they are made aware that a 'pre-print' version of an article
> has been made available on the web? A colleague suggested to me that he
> would be anxious about self-archiving if there was any chance of the
> publisher refusing to publish the paper version.

You are asking about the policy often called the "Ingelfinger Rule" and
practised by some (not all or even most) journals (e.g., The New
England Journal of Medicine, Science, the journals of the American
Psychological Association).

This topic has been discussed before in this Forum (see the Archives)
and I have written about it in several papers:

    Harnad, S. (2000) E-Knowledge: Freeing the Refereed Journal Corpus
    Online. Computer Law & Security Report 16(2) 78-87. [Rebuttal to
    Bloom Editorial in Science and Relman Editorial in New England
    Journal of Medicine]

    Harnad, S. (2000) Ingelfinger Over-Ruled: The Role of the Web in
    the Future of Refereed Medical Journal Publishing. Lancet (in press)

Suffice it to say that such policies are not legal matters, like
copyright, but mere policies. The policies are unjustified and
unenforceable (editors and referees, all researchers like ourselves,
have no interest in enforcing such policies, and becoming net-sleuths,
trawling for look-alikes for every submitted paper from the day it is
submitted to the day it is accepted, for no reason that serves the
interests of research); moreover, these policies are changing (Nature,
unlike Science, has already dropped the Ingelfinger Rule; there are
indications Science may follow suit.)

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):

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

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