Re: PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access: excerpts from article in Nature Magazine

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_Princeton.EDU>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 19:18:23 -0500

Peter, peer-review and copy-editing can be done completely independent of publishers.

The most elaborate and critical peer-reviews already are--the evaluation of scientists' work for the purposes
of grants, appointments, and tenure. If they can do that themselves, they can certainly organize the review
of individual papers. They already do 100% of the actual work.

I have also yet to learn any elements of copyediting which can not be provided by careful authors, or to learn
of any instance where publishers' contributions have had any scientific significance.

Your posting does not mention dissemination, which is wise, for very lost cost organizations such as arXiv do
it better than any publisher has ever done, as they are far more rapid and far more widely available.

Publisher's role and the consequent costs were once justified by the need of elaborate organization for the
production and dissemination of results in printed form. Publishers could remain a convenience, if their
personnel and organization could be integrated at a reasonable cost in the further development and
operation of repository-based systems.

In the past I have written a little more gently, but the recent AAP move indicates the lack of basis for many
publishers' arguments, and the consequent preference for irrational propaganda. We have offered the
possibility for sustainable systems, and it is evident that at least some publishers are not interested.

But I hope that you as an individual wish to dissociate yourself from your embarrassing allies.

David Goodman, Ph.D., M.L.S.
Bibliographer and Research Librarian
Princeton University Library
Received on Sat Jan 27 2007 - 04:24:27 GMT

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