Re: Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_RETIREE.PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 16:55:47 -0500


I. Yes, I agree that we are capable to deriving an adequate linking
system. Based on the speed of development of other good systems that do
not have the problem of article detail, such as sfx, there would probably
be a crude version in place within one or two years--assuming the same
cooperative nature of development as with sfx. I remind you that most sfx
implementations at this point do not lead the user who enters a citation
to the right source, merely a list of possible sources. I've worked on the
implementation of sfx, and probably you have too. Getting this one to work
would be a fascinating challenge for the rest of my career, assuming I
wanted to work with systems rather than people.

 But why? This solves only part of the
problem. Most libraries--even ARL libraries-- do not subscribe
to all the titles from all the publishers listed, and most non-ARL
libraries to very few of them. For these titles, the libraries would
continue to get access to only about half the recent articles.

I do not see why any
publisher would think only half its articles are appropriate for free
access. The publisher would, instead of publishing , say, the imaginary
"Journal of probiology" be in essence publishing two journals: "Journal of
probiology--good articles" and "Journal of probiology--lesser articles,"
or, under some variations of this scheme, "Journal of probiology--author
paid articles" and "Journal of probiology--non author paid articles"

I thus also
fail to see any economic benefit whatsoever. A library
that did want full access would have to keep all the subscriptions,
and a library content with providing links to the variety of sources would
have to develop a system considerably more competent than any we have so
far deployed.

There are many many respects than I thought in which this is truly a
"Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science." I originally had
in mind the peculiar use of "free." I failed to note the replacement of a
relatively simple, though expensive, current scheme, with an equally or
more expensive complex scheme involving many technical elements not yet
developed. I also failed to note the implicit rejection of
several good simple arrangements, all of which would be better and less
expensive, but which might temporarily disturb the status quo, such as
Harnad's two "colored" alternatives or the original Varmus ArXiv-like

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University

(and, formerly: Princeton University Library)

On Wed, 17 Mar 2004, Hamaker,
Chuck wrote:

> Response from Chuck Hamaker:
> I disagree with you on this David, as MANY (50% it sounds like) individual
> articles in journals with free availability is a relatively new phenomena it
> can be solved by several systems libraries use: the system can evolve to
> identify these articles. I've mentioned (with Herbert Van de Sompel's
> ideas!) two additional ways this can be done. The Metadata from individual
> articles prepared for CrossRef, as an example, could include access=free as
> a field. I hope CrossRef publishers see the benefit in this and recommend
> CrossRef include such a field in the metadata quickly. Certainly any members
> of this group of publishers in CrossRef should consider recommending this
> change. Such a metadata field might need to be made "changeable" so it could
> be updated by the publishers as the article's "availablity" changes. This
> would permit Open URL resolvers to pass users directly on to the article at
> the publisher's site. 2. Individual publishers can expose their articles to
> OAI Harvesters, and open URL systems could be modified to add an open URL
> search to OAI search systems many of which include vol, date, issue, page
> information for retrieval purposes. I see this as a very signfiicant step,
> and am on open access is a condition of the article side of this rather than
> just the condition of the journal.Tt means the navigation system becomes
> critical and it is distinct from the normal check your online catalog, but
> many searches don't start that way anymore.
> Chuck Hamaker
> UNC Charlotte

Dr. David Goodman
Princeton University Library
Palmer School of Library and Information Science, LIU
Received on Wed Mar 17 2004 - 21:55:47 GMT

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