Re: removal of articles from electronic journals

From: Medical Education Online <Editor_at_MED-ED-ONLINE.ORG>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 07:18:44 -0500

At 11:47 AM 12/4/2002 +0100, you wrote:
> > Hi All:
> >
> > I know this is a concern for librarians. But I'm wondering if scholars and
> > professors also are concerned about the removal of articles from electronic
> > journals because of plagiarism, fraud, political controversy, or a related
> > reason.
> >
> > If you have any thoughts about this please contact me.

In my view, removing articles from electronic journals for virtually any
reason is a bad idea fraught with problems. Journals serve a number of
purposes. One of the most important is forming a continually updated
authoritative archive of scientific and scholarly knowledge.

Every standard format I have run across for referencing electronic material
(including electronic journals) includes the date it was accessed. If you
think about it, the implications are pretty profound. Our archive of
knowledge as we move from a paper system to an electronic one is so
unstable it is necessary in referencing it to note the specific day it was

We must find ways to address this problem. The most obvious is a very
strong convention that altering, removing and/or changing the location of
published material without leaving some sort of clear trail back to the
original manuscript is just unacceptable. In my view this should considered
a form of scientific misconduct.

I suspect this is pretty much the same concern librarians have but it is
not just a librarian's problem, it is all our problem. In my view a huge
one that undermines the tremendous potential of electronic communication.

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Received on Wed Dec 04 2002 - 12:18:44 GMT

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