Re: Publishing Reform, University Self-Publishing and Open Access

From: Alma Swan <a.swan_at_TALK21.COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 18:31:44 -0000

Alma Swan wrote:
> > Perhaps Stevan also finds, as I do when out in the author community
> > discussing open access, that for every 3 authors who understand the
> > distinction between publishing their work as usual and indulging in
> > open access archiving, there are 97 who do not. Those 97
> instinctively
> > cry 'But I need to publish my work in journals'.

Jean-Claude Guedon replied:
> But these 97, then, behave exactly as Stevan would want them
> to behave:
> in Stevan's terminology, they publish (only) in journals and
> they provide access in open-access repositories.

Er, that was the point I was making. That is the simplest, clearest,
least-confusable terminology that can be used. Whereas Jean-Claude wishes
the word 'publish' to be extended to all and sundry activities associated
with scholarly communication. A recipe for confusion and misunderstanding.

And it's not about what Stevan *wants*, it's what authors understand and do
that we are talking about.

> > The word 'publish', despite the OED's estimable definition, has a
> > specific meaning to scholarly authors, as Jean-Claude must
> appreciate.
> > To them it means getting their research articles in
> journals (gold or not) or books.
> > Using the word for any additional activities confuses and
> confounds,
> > and plays to the fears of authors rather than providing
> clarification
> > and encouragement to engage in the new communication
> methods available to them.
> Perhaps, but then do not get confused yourself.

I think my exposition was perfectly clair et net. The people who confuse the
issue are those who persist in applying the word 'publish' to myriad
activities that scholars do not in general associate with the word. There
are many difficulties with terminology in this arena - the word 'archive'
has just as many problematical connotations - but deliberately confounding
them instead of striving to make things as simple as possible in order to
progress is just plain perverse.

Alma Swan
Key Perspectives Ltd
Truro, UK
Received on Thu Jan 19 2006 - 18:59:23 GMT

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