Re: Afterthoughts following interview...

From: John MacColl <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 15:13:12 +0100


> Some afterthoughts after an interview:
> (1) You asked me my reaction to your quote from someone that
> I am not well regarded in the library community (or words to that
> effect).

Not true on my own account, but then I am an adherent of the subversive
proposal. The Librarian here at Edinburgh, who moves in the elevated circles
of Library Directors internationally, has also asked me to tell you that it
is not true. In fact I think it is *becoming* less true as the
self-archiving/publication conflation becomes understood as a fallacy. And
the current open archiving initiative - based largely upon your vision - is
attracting a lot of interest from librarians, as the July meeting and the
prospect of DNER funding testifies.

Also, it has become much more legitimate for librarians to take a hostile
stance against journal publishers whose pricing policies are exposed as
shark-like by the arrival of electronic publishing. And librarians do listen
to publishing academics, many of whom are fully on board with the proposal.
I addressed a meeting of informatics staff yesterday (seeking to enthuse
them about the archive we are establishing in Edinburgh) and was told that
the proposed wording regarding permission to self-archive the peer-reviewed
postprint on the web (which I had taken from your article 'For whom the gate
tolls') was more cautious than most of them use in their own dealings with
publishers. Far from being wary about whether academic authors will back off
from seeking to change copyright transfer conditions in case publishers
refuse to accept their work, they urged a much more aggressive approach. But
then, these were the converted, to a large extent. Interestingly, one of
those attending, who admitted being an editor-in-chief of an Elsevier
journal, said that I was misusing the term 'preprint', which publishers
generally understand as meaning the peer-reviewed article, minus its
publisher logo and citation details. What I meant by preprint - pre-refereed
article - they called 'submission.'


John MacColl
Sub-Librarian, Online Services
SELLIC Director
University of Edinburgh Tel: 0131 650 7275 or 07808 170075
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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