Re: Should Publishers Offer Free-Access Services?

From: Thomas J. Walker <>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 20:24:03 +0000

At 02:06 AM 12/21/2001 +0000, Stevan Harnad wrote:

>On Thu, 20 Dec 2001, Thomas J. Walker wrote:
> > The University of Florida has no OAI-compliant University Eprint
> > Archives and my attempts to interest the Director of Libraries in
> > starting one have so far been unsuccessful.
> >
> > Perhaps it is not too late for APS and some of its authors to benefit from
> > the service I described.
>Well, I shall have to leave it to the university community's
>judgment whether, in the short- and long-term interest of
>(1) maximizing other universities' access to their outgoing research,
>(2) maximixing the impact of their outgoing research,
>(3) maximizing their access to other universities' outgoing research,
> and perhaps eventually also
>(3) relieving their serials crisis
>the university library and administration elect to do:
>(a) nothing,
>(b) create and fill university Eprint Archives for their outgoing
> research,
>(c) pay journals to do the equivalent for them.
>My guess is that by far the cheapest, fastest, most productive, and
>most general option would be (b). And a growing number of universities
>seem to be coming to this conclusion too (that UFL is not yet one of
>them may not be the decisive datum)....

I am continually disappointed that administrators of granting agencies,
scientific societies, and universities fail to take simple steps that would
lead rapidly to free access to journal literature. Therefore, my guess is
that they will mostly continue to do (a) [nothing].

Therefore, researchers, who are the ones most hurt by suboptimal access to
their articles, should encourage their universities to do (b) _and_ their
societies to permit (c).

To generalize on the question I asked relative to APS, why do not
scientific societies offer their authors a service that all would want and
for which many would pay a profit-making price?

Thomas J. Walker
Department of Entomology & Nematology
PO Box 110620 (or Natural Area Drive)
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620
E-mail: (or
FAX: (352)392-0190
Received on Fri Dec 21 2001 - 20:24:43 GMT

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