Re: Central vs. Distributed Archives

From: Greg Kuperberg <greg_at_MATH.UCDAVIS.EDU>
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2000 10:23:26 -0800

On Thu, Nov 09, 2000 at 11:16:11AM +0000, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> Nay! Release them from their hostagehood behind obsolete,
> impact-blocking, and completely surmountable access barriers online
> today through self-archiving, addict fellow-researchers the world over
> to that new, free form of access to it all, and the redundancies and
> mirrors will come tomorrow, in plenty of time to keep the freed corpus
> aloft in the skies.

Entirely aside from whether your proposals are the best ones, you have
previously described them as being nothing other than the "Ginsparg
model". Well I think of myself as devoted to the Ginsparg model,
but my interpretation of it is significantly different from the one
that you give here. In 1997 my thinking was much more like yours,
but three years of direct experience with the arXiv has changed it.
My creed is, build a large, integrated, immortal archive now, and the
e-prints will come tomorrow. I won't insist that this approach is right
for your discipline, because maybe you know your own community better
than I do. But I do feel strongly that it is right for my discipline.
And I can't speak for Paul Ginsparg either, but I would be surprised
if he contradicted me outright, since he has influenced my thinking a
great deal through direct correspondence.

In general your liberation terminology doesn't sit so well with me. I do
hint at liberation terminology from time to time; in fact the name of my
front end, "Front for the Mathematics arXiv", is a deliberate allusion.
If the math arXiv is revolutionary, I would liken it to the American
revolution. We are building a new system on new territory and letting
immigrants come. I see a lot of Alexander Hamilton in our approach, and
somewhat less of Thomas Jefferson. Your comments have some character
of Jefferson, but very little of Hamilton, and often they sound almost
Marxist. I might compare your overall vision to the Communards of Paris.
But hey, you could be right in your own society.

You have also correctly picked up that I don't accept the dichotomy
between preprints and postprints. My view is that the preprint
and the postprint are Tweedledum and Tweedledee. But that is a topic
for another posting.
  /\  Greg Kuperberg (UC Davis)
 /  \
 \  / Visit the Math ArXiv Front at
  \/  * All the math that's fit to e-print *
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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