Re: Self-Archiving and the reaction of publishers

From: Thomas Bacher <bacher_at_PURDUE.EDU>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 12:23:54 -0500

This whole discussion misses the current trend of licensing that is becoming
prevalent by information gatherers be they publishers, universities or other
institutions. With rights management systems, an organization can capture
information and price it for use with guards against re-use even if the
re-use constitutes fair use.

Also, all people are not writers and all systems do not distribute in an
equitable way. Hence, we have entities called publishers.

I do think that publishers will come to terms with e-prints and limited
self-use by authors. However, there are factors that drive the current

Prestige. Researchers like to see their work published in the most
prestigious publication in their respective fields.

Pay. Researchers do like to get paid for doing something, even if that pay
is in the form of reprints.

Power. Researchers like to reach points at which they are viewed as
authorities in particular fields and can determine the worth of
contributions to that field.

Portability. You can say all that you might like to about electronic
distribution, but currently paper is still king. How often do you print
things to read?

Process. Tenure still hangs on certain factors that discourage information
distribution in certain ways.

Thomas Bacher, Director, Purdue Press
1207 SCC-E, W. Lafayette, IN 47907-1207
(765)494-2038 Fax: (765)496-2442

Be at your life-long-learning best. Read from a University Press.

-----Original Message-----
From: September 1998 American Scientist Forum
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2000 12:11 PM
Subject: Re: Self-Archiving and the reaction of publishers

On Fri, 3 Nov 2000, Martin Melaugh wrote:

> Has any academic expressed a worry about the possible reaction of a
> 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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