Re: No fault non-archiving.

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 10:03:25 +0100 (BST)

On Tue, 4 Jul 2006, Richard Feinman wrote:

> I get several reprint requests for papers I published in
> Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders which is not on PubMed.
> Does anybody know how the people who request them would find a
> self-archived version if I made it available?

Through google, or paracite or oaister or google scholar or scirus or scopus

> I don't know how
> to find other self-archived papers except by contacting the
> author (which is frequently faster than going to their website
> and looking for an archive).

Try paracite:

> So I think I am only at fault if I know that self-archiving will help.

You are not at fault for not knowing till now; if you don't know as of know,
you are at fault...

> Does self-archiving actually help anybody? How many researchers
> know how to find author-archived material? This is a question,
> not a challenge. Why self-archive if nobody can find the MS?

Apparently enough of them to give self-archived papers a 25% - 250%+ advantage
in citation counts over papers published in the same journal and year, but not

> Also, the fact that I am not supposed to put up the final pdf is
> so infuriating that I doubt I would do it anyway -- somebody tell
> me with a straight face that the value added in turning a MS into
> a pdf is in any way comparable to the value of the content of the
> MS.

[With a straight face]: The value of the author's final draft (even in
ascii!), the "postprint" or "eprint," is infinitely superior to the value
of no access at all, for all those would-be users whose institutions
cannot afford access to the journal in which it was published. (And the
issue is not PDF itself, for the author can trivially generate PDF from
MS Word, or what have you; the issue is the publisher's proprietary PDF,
for which there is neither the need, nor the justification of insisting
upon, if the publisher does not which to have it self-archived: it is more
than enough for the publisher to give its blessing to the self-archiving
of the author's own refereed, revised, corrected, accepted final draft --
whether it is in TeX, Word, PDF, Word-star, or what-have-you.)

> And then there is the idea that every time you self-archive you
> are making a statement that the purpose of the publisher is to
> restrit access to your work which you may be able to overcome.

Nothing of the sort. Every time you self-archive you are doing precisely
the same kind of thing (though far less effortfully or often) you did
when you mailed out paper reprints to reprint-requesters, namely, you are
supplementing the published version -- for those would-be users whose
institutions cannot afford access to the journal -- with an indivdiual
copy, compliments of the author.

(I hope you will not reply to remind me that paper reprints were exact
copies of the published version: please see above, concerning eprints.)

Stevan Harnad

Berlin 3 Recommendation:

    "In order to implement the Berlin Declaration institutions should
    implement a policy to:

            1. require their researchers to deposit a copy of all their
            published articles in an open access repository


            2. encourage their researchers to publish their research
            articles in open access journals where a suitable journal
            exists (and provide the support to enable that to happen)."
Received on Wed Jul 05 2006 - 10:19:25 BST

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