Re: Interview with Elsevier Science

From: Steve Hitchcock <sh94r_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 12:02:32 +0000

At 12:35 06/11/01 +0000, Barry Mahon wrote:
>Richard Poynder wrote:
> > I shall be interviewing Michael Mabe, Elsevier Science's Director of
> > Academic Relations, for a publication called Information Today
> > ( next week, and would welcome suggestions from any
> > "users" as to the kind of questions that they would like to see put to him.
>Hi Richard,
>I expect you'll get some pretty unprintable responses from this list!!
>I would like to ask what Elsevier feels about the movement away from
>peer review to open archives. Besides feeling threatened which they
>would not admit, do they feel that (in certain subject areas) the peer
>review process as a concept is no longer valid? If not why not?

For a fascinating independent view on this see
Jean-Claude Guédon
In Oldenburg’s Long Shadow: Librarians, Research Scientists, Publishers,
and the Control of Scientific Publishing

He tackles exactly this point. It's a long paper (published as a monograph
in fact), and you have to read a long way down to find it, but the whole
paper is excellent throughout and leads to a full understanding of why
publishers like Elsevier are as they are.

Steve Hitchcock
Open Citation (OpCit) Project <>
IAM Research Group, Department of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3256 Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 2865

>Barry Mahon, Executive Director ICSTI
> > [Moderator's Note: The above posting contains an incorrect
> > enthymeme, which needs to be corrected before it spreads: The Open
> > Archives Initiative OAI ( is not a
> > "movement away from peer review." OAI has nothing at all to do with
> > peer review; it concerns the establishment of metadata tagging
> > standards so that OAI-compliant Online Archives will be
> > interoperable. Nor is the special subset of the Open Archives
> > Initiative dubbed the "Self-Archiving Initiative"
> > ( a "movement
> > away from peer review." On the contrary, it is a movement toward
> > the self-archiving of both non-peer-reviewed preprints and
> > peer-reviewed (published) postprints and presupposes the continued
> > practise of peer-review as a condition for publication, the service
> > currently implemented by journal publishers (including Elsevier).
> > Perhaps what Barry Mahon has in mind is the view of certain ArXiv
> > users ( who have expressed their own view
> > ( that peer
> > review may no longer be needed (e.g. Greg Kuperberg in this list:
> > "The Preprint is the Postprint"
> >
> > In that case, Elsevier's opposition to that particular subview
> > would be shared by the majority of self-archivers, as well as
> > non-self-archivers
> > (,
> > and hence would hardly be informative.
> > It might be more informative to ask Elsevier specifically about
> > their policy regarding online self-archiving of peer-reviewed
> > papers by Elsevier authors, in particular, Elsevier copyright
> > transfer policy on online self-archiving.
> > -- Stevan Harnad, Moderator, American Scientist Forum]
Received on Fri Nov 09 2001 - 13:10:59 GMT

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