Re: Reasons for freeing the primary research literature

From: Albert Henderson <chessNIC_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 08:49:09 -0400

on 21 Aug 2001 Steve Hitchcock <sh94r_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK> wrote:
> At 16:46 20/08/01 -0400, Albert Henderson wrote:
> > I am not getting through. I should have asked,
> >
> > Are there any valid reasons
> > to justify massive self-archiving?
> Yes:
> Improved access to data - faster, available everywhere, always
> Higher productivity
> Better journals
> Better research
> There is a tendency in this forum to become too concerned with the means
> rather than the end - better research. Research must be progressive,
> building on earlier findings, which is the primary purpose of dissemination
> and publication. Publication is not the end. Publication is one of the
> means. There are distractions, like the academic reward structure, which
> viewed selfishly suggest the opposite, but ultimately if better research is
> the goal then the means will take care of itself.

        Better research and education are my primary concerns.

        How will self-archiving produce better journals when
        it provides an excuse to further destroy journals'
        economic base (library subscriptions)?

        How will self-archiving produce better research when
        it mixes unreviewed articles with the formal

        "Self-archiving" worked in the 16th century, perhaps,
        when a relative handful of scientists exchanged
        letters. It may work today when a relative handful
        of physicists or mathematicians (who have the
        advantage of mathematical proof in their disciplines)
        exchange preprints within a narrow specialty.

        It will not work in biomedicine where practitioners
        and the majority of researchers depend on reviewers
        to sort out bad from good and where commercial
        conflicts of interest are a long-standing, profound

        Thanks for asking.

        Best wishes,

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

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