Re: OA IRs are not peer-reviewed publications: they are access-providers

From: Sely Maria de Souza Costa <>
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 13:28:41 -0200

Dear Professor Harnad,

You, as usual, are great, brilliant, actually, in your comments! Let me say that
you have influenced my entire career, when, in mid 1980's, I read your article
about peer review (Scholarly Skywriting). It made me decide in which topic to
specialize. I had my Master and PhD works related to this topic, and am an
active researcher on that, too.

At the moment, I am engaged in a project that aim to not only create an IR to my
university (University of Brasilia, Brazil), but also make it a methodology to
be used throughout the country, with the interest and financial support of
IBICT (Brazilian Institute of Information on Science and Technology) and FINEP
(Funding Agency for Studies and Projects). I have participated in the ElPub
conferences ( over the last seven years, and am organising an
Ibero-American conference on the topic, just because of my interest in
spreading the ideas in Brazil and Latin America, where things go very slowly!

As I meant before, your explanations are of a great help for one interested in
publicising IR's, open access and so on.


With my best and kind regards,

Sely M S Costa, PhD
Departamento de Ciência da Informação/Department of Information Science
Universidade de Brasilia
Campus Universitario Darcy Ribeiro, Asa Norte
70910-900 Brasilia-DF,  Brasil
Tel.: +5561 33071205; +5561 33072842 +5561 33072422
Cel.: +5561 99717442
Fax : +556132738424
Citando Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>:
> On Wed, 13 Feb 2006, Sarah Kaufman wrote:
> > having spoken to academics within this institution, it has become
> > apparent that potential depositors may be wary of depositing into a
> > digital repository as they fear that a repository that includes pre-prints
> > may not appear 'credible'.
> > 
> > Has anyone else dealt with this sort of concern, and how you responded
> > to those that have voiced this concern? Do any repositories exclude
> > items that have not gone through the peer-review process? If you accept
> > items that have not gone through the peer-review process, do you apply
> > any forms of quality control on the item?
> This can save people a lot of time that will otherwise be wasted
> re-inventing
> this superfluous wheel:
> (1) The right way to make the distinction between published, peer-reviewed
> material and unpublished material is the classical way: by *tagging* it as
> such.
> (2) The IR softwares have tags for peer-reviewed articles as well as for
> unrefereed preprints.
> (3) The scholarly/scientific community is quite aware of this distinction;
> it has already been dealing with it for years in the paper medium,
> in the form of published articles versus unpublished drafts.
> (4) An IR is not a publication venue -- it is a means for providing
> *access* to published -- and, if the author wishes, unpublished -- work.
> (5) Any user who wishes to reserve their time and reading to
> peer-reviewed, published work can do so; they need only note the tags (is
> it "peer-reviewed"?  is it "published"? what *journal* is it published in?)
> (6) Disciplines differ in the degree to which they use pre-referring
> preprints:
> physics relies heavily on them, biology less. This is a choice for
> researchers
> to make, both as authors (deciding what to deposit) and as users (deciding
> what
> to read).
> (7) This decision cannot and should not be made a priori by IR managers.
> An IR deposit is not a publication, any more than a mailed first draft 
> on paper is. It is a decision by an author to provide, and by a user to
> use, a document.
> (8) The most absurd thing of all would be to institute IR-level system
> of "quality" control: Leave that to the peer specialists and the journals. 
> IRs are just access-providers.
> (9) It can and should, however, be decided whether an IR is for research
> output only (documents and data, whether pre- or post-peer-review)
> or it is also for non-research output (e.g., teaching materials). Some
> IRs that are sectored by subject matter will also want to decide what
> disciplines they are catering for.
> (10) The right thing to tell naive researchers who have never self-archived
> or
> never use and OA IR, is that an OA IR is neither a publication nor a library
> catalogue of publications: It is a means for researchers to maximize access
> to
> their research output, both before and after peer-reviewed publication.
> See the well-worn self-archiving FAQs on these questions:
> Stevan Harnad
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Received on Thu Feb 16 2006 - 17:40:59 GMT

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