Re: Update on Public Library of Science Initiative

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 18:23:35 +0100

On Fri, 31 Aug 2001, Peter Suber wrote:

> The number of PLoS-compliant journals is about six. The exact number
> depends on how strictly one interprets compliance, but no matter how
> one interprets it, the number is small. Hence it appears that one PLoS
> strategy for moving forward will be to encourage the development of new
> (free online) journals.
> This will be the real breakthrough. We never had to wait for the existing
> journals to see the light, consent to FOS, or change their policies. We
> always had the option to create new journals... I wonder how long
> it will take for the number of PLoS compliant journals to rise from six
> to six hundred.

I wonder too. But could I make a suggestion? It is not only true that
we need not sit and wait, wondering, for existing journals to "see the
light" (i.e., decide, of their own accord, to give away their papers
online for free); we also need not sit and wait for new journals to be
created, or adopted by authors in preference to their existing
established journals.

Let all those things happen, by all means! But let us not sit and wait

As researchers, we cannot change existing journal policies (we can only
sign petitions); nor can we create alternative journals for each of our
own articles: We must sit and wait for others do it for us.

But meanwhile, as we sit and wait, there IS something each of us
individual researchers can do, right now. And if we do it, there will
be nothing left to wait for, as we will ourselves have set the refereed
literature free.

So, while we wait, wondering, may I suggest that we use the time to
self-archive our research?

    Harnad, S. (2001) For Whom the Gate Tolls? How and Why to Free the
    Refereed Research Literature Online Through Author/Institution
    Self-Archiving, Now.

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.

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

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