Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 11:32:46 +0000

On Tue, 25 Nov 2003, [identity deleted] wrote:

> I am sure you would have seen the articles published in Nature Vol 426, Nov 2003
> (pages 7 and 15) regarding Preprint Server and problems likely to be faced by the
> servers which host articles routinely (without editing). I am writing to you about
> this just in case you have missed it.

Yes, there were AmSci postings on those two Nature articles:

    "Re: Central vs. Distributed Archives"

In sum,

    (1) eprint archives are not publishers but access-providers;

    (2) hence their only obligation is to remove deposits that have
    proven to be illegal (such as pornography, inciting violence,
    libel/defamation, plagiarism) and to have means of identifying
    the depositors in case there is need for legal action;

    (3) it is probably too much to expect central archives like Arxiv
    to vet all their deposits (Arxiv has 4000 per month);

    (4) hence this probably represents yet another reason why distributed
    institutional archives are preferable to central ones (in the
    OAI-interoperable age, when all these archives are equivalent);

    (5) institutions can easily vet their own deposits, by their
    own faculty, at a departmental level.

This has also been followed by a series of postings on how many
articles have been removed from the Physics Arxiv across the years,
and why, on the thread:

    "Re: Copyright: Form, Content, and Prepublication Incarnations"

Mostly it has been because of errors in the unrefereed preprint.

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
    Post discussion to:

Dual Open-Access Strategy:
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.
Received on Tue Nov 25 2003 - 11:32:46 GMT

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