Re: Published vs. Unpublished Research

From: guedon <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 12:22:31 -0500

    [ The following text is in the "utf-8" character set. ]
    [ Your display is set for the "iso-8859-1" character set. ]
    [ Some characters may be displayed incorrectly. ]

Le jeudi 19 janvier 2006 à 16:25 +0000, Stevan Harnad a écrit :
> The primary, announced target of the OA movement since the outset has been
> articles published in peer reviewed journals, and the goal has been to make
> them freely accessible to all potential users, webwide.

> Universities encourage their researchers to publish (or perish). Academic
> CVs for performance review list a researcher's publications. (They often
> also contain a category "unpublished works".) If anyone has any doubt
> about the academic meaning of "publication" try listing a text that
> you have merely posted to the web as a "publication" (rather than an
> "unpublished work).

Correct, but the word publish is not limited to what tenure and
promotion, or grant-adjudication committees decide. Besides, members of
such committees would be careful to say "publish in peer-reviewed
journals" and not simply "publish".

In the OA debate, he word "publish" also includes the meaning that
publishers favour, as well as the meaning found within granting
agencies. When the director of a granting agency mentions the need to
forget about journal titles and the need to really evaluate the content
of the papers cited in grant applications, such a position, IMHO, can
include articles that have not been peer-reviewed or even printed. The
situation mentioned here may appear unusual but it is not impossible. It
is true that the legitimacy of articles can be grounded in journals; it
is false to argue that only journals can grant legitimacy (and ensure
quality) to a research document.
> The difference (for OA and academic purposes) between publishing and
> access-provision (to both published and unpublished work) is, it seems to
> me, crystal clear (whether the access-provision is done by distributing
> paper journals or paper reprints, by licensing electronic journals,
> by emailing eprints, or posting eprints on the web).

?? This is the crux of the matter. The distinction is not crystal-clear,
no matter what Stevan Harnad claims (and he has to claim this to
maintain his distinction). Providing (public) access to documents is a
form of publishing, no matter what SH says.
> One might have other ideas about what should be given academic credit (I
> certainly do). But those are hypotheses or hopes about the future course
> that universities might or might not take. They have nothing to do with OA
> (though OA may one day help facilitate them).

This part of the argument has nothing to do with the meaning of
> There are two ways to reach 100% OA. One ("BOAI-2," "gold") is to reform
> publishing, by converting to OA publishing. This is mostly in the hands
> of publishers, though researchers can encourage it too, by publishing in
> OA journals, increasing their demand for OA journals, and diverting research
> funds and/or library cancellation savings toward paying OA publishing costs.

Correct, although, as I have argued earlier, when journals are
subsidized with public funds, the decision to go OA is not only in the
hands of the publishers.
> The other way ("BOAI-1," "green") is by self-archiving articles published
> in non-OA journals. This, researchers and their institutions can do entirely
> for themselves.

> BOAI-2 is publishing reform. BOAI-1 is not (though it might possibly
> lead to it).

Both are publishing reform because, once again, providing a second
channel (public access) is, by definition, a form of publishing. Period.
> Although I was one of the first to propose and advocate BOAI-2/gold
> publishing reform earlier on, I could not help noticing after a time
> that it was the more exciting but also the slower and more uncertain way
> to 100% OA and that it often got in the way of the faster, certain way,
> specifically by giving still largely uninformed researchers and their
> employers and funders the wrong impression that OA *is* publishing
> reform, rather than what it really is: 100% free online access (to
> published journal articles, in the first instance), which they can do
> for themselves, without waiting for publishing reform.

All OA relies on some form of publishing reform, be it green or gold.
> A university is in a position to do the doable. In OA space, researchers
> and their institutions are the primary content-providers. They provide
> the content to their publishers, who then provide it to those who
> can afford access. Universities can supplement this by providing OA
> directly, through self-archiving.

Indeed, and this is a secondary form of publishing latched on to the
existing journal structure.
> As they have with many others, in the case of the University of
> California, the two OA wires, green and gold, have gotten crossed, to
> the great disadvantage of green, and hence of OA. The other two wires
> that have gotten crossed at UC are the university as the primary content
> provider and the university as publisher.
> It would be good to got the wires uncrossed, for the sake of OA.

The two roads to OA often mesh, mix and match as I have argued over a
year ago. The problem is not to have the wires uncrossed; the problem is
to separate what could be harmonized for the sake of faster OA.

Jean-Claude Guédon
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Thu Jan 19 2006 - 18:38:03 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:11 GMT