Re: Clarification of "parasitism" and copyright (David Goodman)

From: Albert Henderson <chessNIC_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 17:30:09 -0500

Why do David and Steven put cost-cutting above quality?

30 years of cost-cutting has undermined peer review,
authorship and education. Poor libraries are only
part of the new regime that replaced tenured faculty
with part-timers.

Steven's proposals promise to cut costs. They will
certainly eliminate librarians as well as collections,
replacing the lot with automation and added burdens
shifted to authors and readers.

As for peer review taking care of itself, any
experienced editor will testify that useful peer
review comes through searching, soliciting, and
editing -- not pure volunteerism. The best referees
are busy, too busy to go looking for something to do.

Unfortunately, the real parasitism in academe is
in the culture of bureaucracy, as Max Weber pointed
out. Its obsession with cost-cutting seeks expansion
of administrative power based on financial hoarding.
For students and researchers, parasitism means
promises of rich delicacies followed by delivery of
pablum and starvation.

It is the libraries, after all, that have provided
'free access for all' to the research literature.
More than that, libraries have winnowed the wheat
from the chaff. (Why would any professional librarian
or researcher support "self-archived" chaff??)

Private research universities, in particular,
have hoarded far more money than they need. Why
aren't we talking about spending some of it and
improving the quality of research and education???

Albert Henderson

-------------Forwarded Message-----------------

From: "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum", INTERNET:SERIALST_at_LIST.UVM.EDU
Date: 2/8/2002 5:19 PM

RE: Re: Clarification of "parasitism" and copyright (David Goodman)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 15:00:23 -0500
From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PHOENIX.PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: Clarification of "parasitism" and copyright (Stevan Harnad)

Most of us are attached to the idea of peer
review. Indeed, even those who wish to change peer review radically almost
always wish to retain it in some form, however diffuse.

But the question of how to pay for peer review is not distinct from the
question of what form it takes. Extending on Stevan's argument, if we
could reduce the costs of it to zero, we would have a totally free system.
(Except for the trivial costs of distribution.)

If we did, we would not need to be concerned with the question of who
should pay for it.

 How to accomplish this is another question to be
settled in the proper fashion by experimentation and analysis, not verbal
argument. I do not want to reopen the question of the various
possibilities for this on this forum. I do want to remind everyone that we
should in planning our new information world not assume any impassable
barriers. I do not know whether whatever system we eventually adopt will be
the truly best--it may well prove expedient to accept less than that. I
doubt whether the final model we adopt -- not to speak of the
best possible system-- will be any of the specific proposals
anyone has made so far.

I remain of the opinion that Stevan's proposals are the best
way to proceed for the immediate future, and there is nothing to be gained
by waiting until we solve all the possible issues.

David Goodman
Research Librarian and
Biological Sciences Bibliographer
Princeton University Library 609-258-7785

> ---------- 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
> So the "parasitism" is not a copyright issue. It is another issue, and
> a double one: (a) How to pay the essential costs of peer review? and
> (b) How NOT to pay for any MORE than the essential costs of peer review,
> if that is all researchers want and need?
> And here the growth in the practice of author/institutional
> self-archiving can perform two functions: (i) it immediately frees
> access to the entire refereed literature and (ii) it puts pressure on
> journals (subscription cancellation pressure, because of competition
> from the author's self-archived free version) to cut costs and downsize
> to the essentials (peer review) while at the same time creating the
> institutional revenues (the windfall savings from cancellations) to pay
> for those essential costs, as a SERVICE, on the institution's OUTGOING
> research papers, instead of as a PRODUCT: the institution's INCOMING
> library serials subscriptions.
> 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.
> Stevan
Received on Mon Feb 11 2002 - 23:30:30 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:46:24 GMT