Re: Distinguishing the Essentials from the Optional Add-Ons

From: Hugo Fjelsted Alrĝe <Hugo.Alroe_at_AGRSCI.DK>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 10:50:42 +0100

There are major problems for the movement towards open access, such as filling the archives, and there are relatively lesser problems, such as securing that the archive content is as useful as possible. I fully agree that we should address the major problems, but this does not entail that we should ignore the lesser ones, such as the referencing problem I pointed at.

My point was not that the referencing problem was unsolvable and that we need to stick to the print page system (papyros were scrolls, weren't they? ;-)

My point was that
1) we seem to be moving towards a structure where print page publishing (online or not) is mainly maintained, and more and more papers are, in addition, being made accessible earlier and to a wider audience in form of preliminary, or just different, author versions in open archives.
2) scholars that do not have access to the toll gated print page published papers, and those who do not have time to wait for the published version, will wish to use and refer to the archived versions.

My point was not that this was a bad development in general. On the contrary, I find the motion towards more open access a very good development for science and for science users. And I am well aware that innovative online journals have developed new and much more powerful ways of referral than the print systems. But as often stated, open access journals and open archives are two different things, and archived preliminary versions of papers are typically not crafted in this way.

My point was that, given that we support this development of open archives,
3) we need to handle these new access forms in the daily processes of science, and in order to do that we need to discuss how to handle it. Just ignoring the problem will not benefit the development of open archives.

What are the possible solutions?
a) Making separate versions for the archive with section and paragraph numbers (involves more author work and is thus a potential barrier for filling; not consistent with the usual print page versions that are later published).
b) Just inserting line numbers (is easily done in many word processors; not consistent with either section/paragraph or page number orderings; not consistent with new versions with even minor changes).
c) Other and more innovative solutions such as the one pointed to by Stevan: "a unique string for grepping right to the words in question! Even primitive PDF has string-grepping capability".

I am confident that there are solutions, but they need to be made clear and implemented.

Thanks for the links to relevant papers etc., Stevan.

Kind regards
Hugo Alroe,

> -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> Fra: Stevan Harnad []
> Sendt: 30. oktober 2003 16:48
> Emne: Re: Distinguishing the Essentials from the Optional Add-Ons

> Surely citing the URL of the full text (plus the section name and the
> paragraph number, as you go on to note below) -- and even
> quoting enough
> of the passage commented so that it can be found by character-string
> search -- is incomparably more useful than the old papyrocentric page
> number (which will in any case be replaced by the paragraph number,
> in the new online world)!
Received on Fri Oct 31 2003 - 09:50:42 GMT

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