Re: What would Einstein had done today?

From: <eugene.garfield_at_THOMSON.COM>
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 14:40:44 -0400

Dear David:

Would Mendel's work have been ignored if the Science Citation Index was available 100 years ago?

Your comments about Mendel are really not appropriate for this discussion. Please refer to the essay I did in 1970 in which I pointed out the mythology about Mendel's work. Of course, it was Conway Zirkle who did the detective work and I only took advantage of that to prove my point. Best wishes. Gene Garfield

When responding, please attach my original message
Eugene Garfield, PhD. email:
home page:
Tel: 215-243-2205 Fax 215-387-1266

Chairman Emeritus, ISI
3501 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3302
President, The Scientist LLC.
400 Market Street, Suite 1250, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2501
Past President, American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum [mailto:AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM_at_LISTSERVER.SIGMAXI.ORG] On Behalf Of David Goodman
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 3:14 PM
Subject: Re: What would Einstein had done today?

Much the same is true of the new papers by Watson and Crick
published in Nature. Furthermore , they were involved in a
priority race with Pauling, who was working on the same problem,
and would certainly have chose the fastest means available.

In either case I think the papers would have been noticed just as well
as when they were published--as they were--in the the most prestigious
available journal.

One wants to say that really good work will be seen with any communication system.
But consider the case of Mendel. He published only in a provincial academy of
science journal. Even if people just found it by browsing, it would have been found decades
earlier in a web-based system, or a journal system with a web component or supplement.

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

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum on behalf of Bo-Christer Björk
Sent: Mon 9/26/2005 3:18 AM
Subject: What would Einstein had done today?
On the 26th of October 1905 the paper "Zur Electrodynamik bewegter
Körper" by an unknown researcher called Albert Einstein was published by
Annalen der Physik in Band 17, pp. 891-921
This paper is of course a landmark in the history of science, but it
also illustrates the big changes that the scientific publication process
has gone through in a century. The paper did not go through an anonymous
peer review but was read by the editor (Max Planck) who made a decision
to publish it. The process was extremely fast since the manuscript was
sent in the 30th of June and published three months later. It would
probably have had problems in passing a current day peer review process
since it contains no references, breaks with the prevailing paradigms in
the field and at the time lacked empirical evidence to back it up. What
would Einstein do if he wanted to publish his results today?. He would
probably have posted a copy of the manuscript to the open access
repository for High Energy Physics ( and hoped that
others would pick up the ideas and spread the word via viral marketing.

Bo-Christer Björk

Received on Wed Sep 28 2005 - 20:40:17 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:02 GMT