Re: The archival status of archived papers

From: Steve Hitchcock <>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 11:26:45 +0000

At 22:54 03/12/02 +0000, Stevan Harnad wrote:
>OED's definition was written before the Internet. One can certainly
>write on a draft, prominently "This is just a temporary draft, and will
>be revised." One can even add "Please do not quote or cite." But if you
>put that on the Web, not only will some people nevertheless quote,
>cite (and link)

Not only is it bad practice to post papers openly that state "Please do not
quote or cite", worse, some such papers are never replaced, nor the request
removed, even when the paper may have been formally published elsewhere and
remains unacknowledged and inaccessible from the draft. This is detrimental
for open access.

Citing, whether formally or informally, is simply telling someone else
something about the paper, so the rule is simple: if there is nothing in
the paper worth telling anyone about, don't post it.

To follow up Adrian's suggestion for introducing some formality into the
procedure for posting preprints and postprints, what is needed on each
version are:
- date of posting and/or version number (the archive can do the former
automatically; the author will have to supply the latter)
- link to previous versions
- status re. peer reviewed publication

This is all standard practice for arXiv, except the latter, so authors
everywhere need to be educated to provide it, and to recognise that
self-archiving is an active and ongoing process that doesn't always end
with the first posting. It gives a straightforward indication, and is far
more beneficial than 'do not cite'. Then readers are free to make their own
value judgements about validity for citing purposes, etc.

Steve Hitchcock
Open Citation (OpCit) Project <>
IAM Research Group, Department of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3256 Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 2865
Received on Wed Dec 04 2002 - 11:26:45 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:46:45 GMT