Re: Self-Archiving Refereed Research vs. Self-Publishing Unrefereed Research

From: Arthur P. Smith <apsmith_at_RIDGE.APS.ORG>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 09:48:50 -0400

On Fri, 10 Aug 2001, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> I cannot follow this, about "responsibility" and "context," at all. We
> are talking about authors self-archiving their final, refereed draft,
> the one that has been peer-reviewed, revised, finalized and accepted.

Sez who? Take for example:

(our friend Podkletnov of the anti-gravity device)

What is to prevent this fellow from adding a journal-ref to some obscure
supposedly peer-reviewed journal subscribed to by only a handful of
institutions (such as Physica C: Superconductivity...)? Podkletnov
could even insert a journal-ref to Physical Review, or Reviews of
Modern Physics, or Applied Physics Letters, or some such; I am not
aware of any substantial verification mechanism that is currently in
place for that data; perhaps something will come along for the major
journals, but that still leaves the obscure ones... And even if he
actually DOES have a published paper on this subject (as he does in
Physica C) it is up to the author to ensure that there is no
substantive difference between the two versions. Hence "responsibility"
and "context" are issues - whose responsibility is the integrity
of the content and metadata (the author's or the journal's), and what
context is the article presented in (a big database with little tags
to indicate publication status, or a journal ToC)?

Now that's not to say we wouldn't publish papers like this - we do
on occasion. But very rarely do they make it through the highest-level
filters in our journals (Phys Rev Letters, or the Rapid Communications
sections of the others) and then only through a deliberate editorial
decision to allow a controversial group of author to present their

Lundberg is clearly worried about even worse cases in the medical
fields - recent news about the scurrilous things drug companies will
do with reports of scientific research are enough to tread very carefully
in this area.

Of course it really just means that engineers can't rely on the ArXiv
for finding what's going on in physics; they will more likely go
first to secondary services that filter on a group of relevant and
highly-regarded journals (such as INSPEC in physics, or Medline
in bio-medicine). And so that group of readers bypasses the author
self-archive altogether. Which is probably fine.

Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:46:12 GMT