Clarification of "parasitism" and copyright (Stevan Harnad)

From: Albert Henderson <chessNIC_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 19:39:57 -0500

on Thu, 7 Feb 2002 Marcia Tuttle <> forwarded:

> Re: Clarification of "parasitism" and copyright (Stevan Harnad)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 03:55:55 +0000
> From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_COGPRINTS.SOTON.AC.UK>
> Subject: Clarification of "parasitism" and copyright


> Finally, the reason I now favor institutional self-archiving over
> central self-archiving is that the university is the natural entity to
> drive, mediate, reward, and benefit from the transition: It is the
> university and its researchers and research output that benefit from
> maximising their research impact by making it freely accessible to all
> would-be users by self-archiving it. It is the university and its
> researchers and research that benefit from having all refereed research
> from other universities freely accessible to its researchers (something
> its library serials budget could never have afforded) and it is the
> university that stands to gain from the annual windfall savings from
> serials cancellations, only a portion of which (~10-30%, or $200-$500
> per paper) will need to be re-directed to cover peer review costs per
> outgoing paper, once the journals have downsized to the essentials.

        What Stevan will never admit is that university
        managers have plundered library budgets since the
        1970s in anticipation of windfall savings from
        interlibrary photocopying. Any windfalls go right
        to the bottom line. University profitability has
        never been greater. Doubling library spending
        would not harm any academic program.

        In spite of strong opposition from faculty senates
        and individual researchers, the cancellation
        projects proceeded. Libraries now have half the
        share of academic spending that they enjoyed in the
        1960s. Impoverishment impacts not only collections
        but staff. The profession of academic librarianship
        is at risk. Stevan's proposals would replace
        libraries and librarians with computers -- many off

        Moreover, researchers have never faced such an
        impossible challenge to acquire and digest new
        knowledge as they do today. Because of poor library
        collections, many research projects have their own
        subscriptions, paid by grants and unavailable to
        library patrons.

        Preprints are not considered "archival," as journals
        are. They have the aroma of conference papers and
        abstracts. Steven's solution promises to serve up
        sewage to researchers now drowning in peer-reviewed
        information. He fails to admit that the oxymoronic
        "preprint archives" proposed for biomedicine and social
        sciences will attract trash, quackery, and fraud mixed
        in with papers of value. NIH's e-Biomed program was
        soundly rejected by the scientific community largely
        for this reason. What works in relatively small and
        mathematically-oriented fields would stumble badle

Albert Henderson
Received on Fri Feb 08 2002 - 02:16:29 GMT

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