Re: Research Publication Peer-Review vs. Research Proposal Peer-Review

From: Joseph Pietro Riolo <>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2001 14:17:54 +0000

MODERATOR'S NOTE: Cloture has already been invoked on further postings
concerning the proposal that putting one's writing into the public
domain instead of asserting copyright is the solution to the problem
being addressed in this Forum. The problem being addressed in this
Forum is that of freeing online access to the peer-reviewed journal
literature. Putting one's research papers in the public domain is no
kind of solution to this problem. It would merely put the intellectual
ownership (the authorship) of one's own work at risk, as well as
blocking any chances of having it peer-reviewed or published in a
peer-reviewed journal. Hence, as a solution to the problem being
addressed in this Forum, the public-domain strategy is a non-starter.
In the posting below, Joseph Riolo once again repeats his proposed
public-domain strategy, still not realizing that, far from being a
formula for freeing online access to the peer-reviewed literature, it
is merely a formula for reducing that literature to a public vanity
press (of uncertain authorship). There may indeed be sectors of the
author give-away literature for which neither authorship nor peer
review is of any consequence; for those sectors, an on-line,
public-domain vanity-press solution may indeed be appropriate. But the
peer-reviewed literature, though it is indeed an author give-away
literature, does not fall in any of those sectors. (And, a fortiori,
neither does most of the far larger body of, non-give-away literature,
for which authors desire not only authorship, but access-revenues.)
Discussion is once again re-directed to NOT this
Forum. This includes Mr. Riolo. -- Stevan Harnad

On Sat, 15 Dec 2001, Stevan Harnad <> wrote:
> Here is my hypothesis: Gutenberg. In the era when print-on-paper was
> the only way to disseminate and archive the research reports, the minor
> costs of reviewing and certifying their quality became intertwined with
> the major costs of disseminating and archiving them, purely because of
> the expensive and inefficient Gutenberg medium of dissemination and
> archiving. If the Internet had been available for disseminating and
> archiving refereed research reports, there would never have been a
> thought of charging for access to them, thereby blocking their
> potential impact and uptake. The minor costs of peer review would have
> been covered in other ways.

I see that you are still very obsessed with the division between
Gutenberg and Post-Gutenberg eras that you did not consider other
factors. For example, you did not consider the impact of
copyright on dissemination of the research reports. One
of the major reasons why the dissemination was inefficient
was due to the limited monopoly as granted by copyright. With
copyright, only one publisher had the say in how, where, and when
research reports could be disseminated. Imagine the impact if
there was no copyright. Not only one publisher but many printers
would be able to disseminate the research reports more widely and
efficiently. Other factor to consider is the impact of free
access to the libraries (which were supported by taxes).

Joseph Pietro Riolo

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this
post in the public domain.
Received on Sun Dec 16 2001 - 14:18:53 GMT

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