Re: Science Article (Roberts et al.) and Science Editorial

From: Michael Eisen <mbeisen_at_LBL.GOV>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 14:50:17 -0800

If you want to go around handing out little gold stars anytime the journals
take a step in the right direction, then fine, Science gets a star. But it
is completely ridiculous to argue that differences between the sides is
merely posturing. The difference between free access after one year at a
single fixed location (e.g. Science's website) is more than just
semantically different from free and open disribution of the material they
publish. It is the difference between two completely different views of who
should own and control the scientific literature. Science and most other
journals believe that the only permanent record of the scientific process
belongs to them, and that they alone should be allowed to decide the terms
under which this material is used. I strongly disagree.

Michael Eisen, Ph.D. (
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
University of California at Berkeley

Support Unrestricted Access to Scientific Publications

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Goodman" <dgoodman_at_PHOENIX.PRINCETON.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 2:10 PM
Subject: Re: Science Article (Roberts et al.) and Science Editorial

> This is yet another example of an unnecessary debate between two
> compatible approaches.
> Having free access after a year is clearly not as good as having it
> immediately. But it is better than never having it. Its intended
> beneficiaries are not those active researchers in the primary field of the
> journal. Its intended beneficiaries include: people in underdeveloped
> countries, students and faculty in small colleges who will see the items
> referred to in indexes and later articles, and people in other fields who
> will see an occasional later reference. These are important groups,
> comprising many more people than the active workers in a specialty.
> I cannot see how one approach will harm the other. Of course we should
> have free universal archiving, both discipline and university based. But
> while we have the existing journals as they are, let's make
> the best use of them we can. People will publish in whatever way
> gives their work best exposure to those who matter to them, and that
> carry the highest prestige. The balance of these two factors will vary
> from person to person, as well as from field to field.
> Let's all stop saying that any approach that isn't the same as one's own
> must have fatal defects, and that victory will go to the person who is the
> cleverest at presenting them. (Though I will say that reading the
> messages in this and previous controversies has given me a very good
> appreciation of skillful argumentative prose style.)
> David Goodman, Princeton University Biology
> Library
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:46:05 GMT