Re: Garfield: "Acknowledged Self-Archiving is Not Prior Publication"

From: Joseph Pietro Riolo <>
Date: Mon, 2 Sep 2002 09:12:26 -0400 (EDT)

On Sat, 31 Aug 2002, Stevan Harnad <> wrote:
> These two papers by Eugene Garfield -- founder of the Insitute for
> Scientific Information, Current Contents, Science Citation Index,
> and originator of the Citation Impact Factor -- might be of interest to
> the Open Access community:
> "I believe that posting and sharing one's preliminary publications
> [is] an important part of the peer... review process and does
> not justify an embargo by publishers on the grounds of 'prior
> publication'. It was not the case before the Internet, and exceot
> for unusual clinical situations, has not changed because of the
> convenience of the Internet." (Garfield, 2000)

Apparently, both Stevan Harnad and Eugene Garfield are ignorant of
the definition of "publication" in the U.S. Copyright Law:

        "Publication" is the distribution of copies or
     phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other
     transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.
     The offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a
     group of persons for purposes of further distribution,
     public performance, or public display, constitutes
     publication. A public performance or display of a work
     does not of itself constitute publication.

     (Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 101.)

Before Internet, submitting an article to a review committee is
not considered as a publication because the author does not intend
for the public to see the article and does not allow the committee
to further distribute copies. However, when an author puts his
article on Internet without any control over who can see his article
and distribute copies of his article, his article is considered as
a publication.

Joseph Pietro Riolo

Number of days left until 1-1-2019 when all knowledge of 1923
in the land of the U.S.A. will be freed from their copyright
owners' prisons: 5,964

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this
post in the public domain.
Received on Mon Sep 02 2002 - 14:12:26 BST

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