Re: How to compare research impact of toll- vs. open-access research

From: David Goodman <>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 23:24:45 -0400

Jim Till's experience with Journal of Cancer Integrative Medicine,
that he among other things wanted to

> "test whether or not the editors and the publisher would permit me
> to retain copyright(and, the right to self-archive a postprint),"

is one we should all follow. I suggest that when we do publish in a non-OA
journal we should always try to negotiate that at least our article be OA
as a experiment by the publisher (preferably in the true sense of being
accessible directly via the journal); it will often meet with a positive
response--and at the least, will educate the publisher. (I have such a
request pending now for a section I was asked to guest-edit in a journal).

It would seem as a long range strategy that, apart from the experiment he
mentions, Jim's desire that it be "the perceived merit of the *article*
itself that should (if possible) be evaluated, as directly as possible,
rather than via more indirect proxy-indicators (such as the perceived
merit of the *journal*) would be best met by a general abandonment
of the practice of publishing in journals at all, and replacing them by
publication in an appropriate repository alone. If that is his meaning,
I urge further experimentation on its real effects, as it is surely the
least expensive of all solutions.

I call attention to the implications of his experiment on the related
topic of the effectiveness of A&I services. The journal in which he
published is not even listed in Medline; it did not seem to hurt his
readership. The journal cited in ref.1 of his paper (CA: a journal
for clinicians) -- with one of the highest impact factors in the
world -- is certainly in Medline, but that particular article for
some incomprehensible reason is not. My understanding of the extensive
relevant experimentation is that a very good A&I service will provide
slightly higher performance than Google, but it seems that the practical
performance of such A&I services in the real world is so greatly below
the theory for even the best ones, such as Medline has always been
reputed to be, that the theoretical advantage may not be relevant.

Perhaps Stevan will consider some of these points irrelevant to his goal
of achieving open access by his preferred means as soon as possible,
but perhaps others will think it more prudent and more effective to
advance in several mutually supportative ways.

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

and, formerly, Princeton University Library
Received on Tue Apr 27 2004 - 04:24:45 BST

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