Re: Open Archives and UK Institutions: An Overview

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 02:22:20 +0000

On Thu, 27 Mar 2003, Lars Aronsson wrote:

> Is any university appointing new professors or teachers based on
> contributions to open archives or open e-journals only, simply
> ignoring any printed or non-open works, yet?

No, and they won't, and shouldn't:

(1) Self-archiving a paper in an open-access eprint archive is not
a publication. If it is an unrefereed preprint, it is an unrefereed
preprint. If it is a peer-reviewed postprint, then it is published in
the journal that peer-reviewed it. Self-archiving is a way of increasing
the usage and impact of research, before and after publication, by
maximizing access. It is not publication.

(2) Open-access journals are journals, just as toll-access journals are.
Their CV/promotion-publish/perish value depends, as with all journals,
on their individual reputations, quality-levels, peer-review standards,
and impact factors. But being open-access, they stand to have higher
visibility and impact (just as do the author-self-archived articles
published in toll-access journals).

(3) It would be both foolish and unjust of promotion/funding panels to
ignore printed or non-open-access work. But it is quite natural for
users to prefer it, especially if they can't afford the toll-access
work. So the outcome (ignoring the inaccessible or hard-to-access work)
is similar.

> If I contribute an article to an open archive or e-journal, can I set
> a license (GNU GPL or Creative Commons style) that effectively
> prohibits its results from being quoted or used in non-open archives?
> (I guess not.)

You can set any rules you like. Getting them obeyed is another matter.
But why on earth would a researcher, writing for research impact, want
to make an arbitrary and counterproductive rule like that in the
first place?

> Is anybody teaching courses only using openly available papers?

Many courses are taking the path of least resistance (web-accessible
materials), just as researchers are.

> Is anybody doing research into the questions above?

No doubt; especially the new scientometricians, for research;
"pedagometrics" will surely come next.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Thu Mar 27 2003 - 02:22:20 GMT

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