Re: Reasons for freeing the primary research literature

From: Albert Henderson <chessNIC_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 08:33:56 -0400

on 21 Aug 2001 T.D.BRODY <tdb198_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK> asked

> I put again what I asked in a previous post: why are you (are
> you?) against providing public, Internet based access to the primary
> "give-away" literature?

        I am against self-archiving as a substitute for
        libraries, library collections, and librarians.
        Every qualified researcher is (or can be) a member
        of a major research library.

        The history of libraries and photocopying
        technology has taught us that university
        managers will cut library spending based on
        no more than a hint of "savings" and put
        the "savings" in the bank. Since 1970,
        research universities have cut their library
        shares of spending in half in spite of
        faculty pleading to maintain collections.
        Resource sharing at some level fails to
        provide the goods. Financial gains are
        lost in the unmeasured quality of research
        and education.

        Moreover, self-archiving opens the door to
        a mess of unreviewed articles which many
        readers are unable to evaluate in terms of
        poor preparation, error, misconduct, and
        fraud. Again, quality of research and
        education will suffer. The quality of the
        practice of medicine will also suffer.

        Finally, your use of the term "give-away"
        is mistaken and misleading -- a major
        fallacy in this forum. Authors give nothing
        away. Although they are not paid in cash,
        authors exchange their reports for recognition
        and dissemination by editors that they value.

        Thanks for asking. I hope I have cleared
        up my position a little.

Albert Henderson

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

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