Re: FOS Newsletter Excerpts

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 14:58:40 +0100

On Thu, 12 Jul 2001, Bernard Lang wrote:

> I noticed that many people on this list seem genuinely afraid of
> hurting the feelings of publishers. Stevan gave me that impression in
> our latest exchange, to which I stopped replying because I had the
> impression that his eagerness to defend publishers (in the classical
> sense) was hiding facts I did not know about.

No hidden facts. Just one very open one. It is possible to free the
entire refereed journal corpus online (all 20,000+ journals, all
2,000,000+ articles annually), NOW, without asking or waiting for
publishers to do anything at all.

Hence I think it is unnecessary and a waste of time and breath to
fulminate against publishers, when there is something much more useful
and effective that we could all be doing instead.

Moreover, peer review is essential; it is what makes the refereed
corpus a REFEREED corpus. Publishers currently implement peer review;
it is an essential service; and there is no reason they should nto
continue doing it, come what may.

So I see absolutely no value in publisher-baiting. It is neither fair
nor useful.

So, no hidden facts. Complete disclosure.

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 & 01):

You may join the list at the site above.

Discussion can be posted to:
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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