"Disaggregated Journals"

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 01:14:49 +0100

On Thu, 14 Jul 2005, Anthony Watkinson wrote (in liblicense):

> The quotation from Raym Crow (whose work incidentally I admire) needs to
> be taken in the context of his model in the same piece. To repeat - this
> disaggregated model leaves almost no role for publishers...

Raym Crow's 2002 SPARC Position paper "The Case for Institutional


lost a lot of its potential usefulness because it made far too much of a
completely untested (and, I suspect, ultimately incoherent) speculation
(from J.W.T. Smith) about "Disaggregated Journals."

It is a great pity that a concrete, tested, and proven practical means
of maximizing research usage and impact -- namely, authors self-archiving
their published (traditional) journal articles in their own institutional
repositories (aka archives) -- was conflated with a mere piece of
speculation in what should have been an authoritative SPARC document.

Here is my original critique of Crow's paper (which I was, alas, persuaded
not to post publicly in the American Scientist Open Access Forum at the
time (2002), ostensibly on the grounds of maintaining solidarity among
OA advocates; but that was a mistake -- it's always a mistake to remain
mute about a flawed idea, even among allies). I archived it (without
ever actually posting it) only 2 years later, in 2004, too late:

    "Comments on the SPARC position paper" (4 August 2002)
    Archived in March 6 2004 :

J.W.T. Smith's "Disaggregated Journal" idea had already been discussed
extensively much earlier in the American Scientist OA Forum (then called the
September-Forum) in 1999. The idea has been neither tested nor patched
up since:

    "Re: Alternative publishing models - was:
    Scholar's Forum: A New Model..." (1999)

(So much of the slow history of OA seems to consist in recycling
speculations and fallacies instead of moving ahead and doing what has
already been demonstrated to be doable, and effective. Here we are
in 2005, rediscovering the "Disaggregated Journal" -- and *still* not
providing the OA that has been within reach for at least a decade and
a half. -- I'm sure the pundits will now chime in with their wise saws
about why it had be so...)

Your humble but impatient archivangelist,

Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Jul 15 2005 - 01:14:49 BST

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