Re: Maximising research access vs. minimizing copy-editing errors

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_Princeton.EDU>
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2007 02:24:20 -0400

I will summarize what I think are the key lessons of my group's paper, read in connection
with the Blackwell paper:

1/ Publishers' preparation of journal articles generally increases readability
2/ Publishers often but not always correct small errors, but occasionally introduce new ones,
some of which are important. The accuracy of the publishing process is not 100%.
3/ Significant errors are most frequent in connection with tables and figure legends.
4/ Neither we nor anyone have ever seen a truly substantial error affecting validity of the
work left uncorrected in an author manuscript but corrected in the published paper.
4a/ Reported numerical values and units in author manuscripts can be trusted.
5/ Faculty websites are an unreliable place for copies of research papers, even in the short
run. (almost half of the locations were moved and unlinked after 18 months)

I consider none of these results the least surprising.

There is one policy implication from this: publishers are important but not essential.
I don't consider this the least surprising either.

None of this affects the need--or lack or if--for peer review.
None of this affects the need--or lack of it--for open access.
 From other arguments, we need both.

David Goodman, Ph.D., M.L.S.
Bibliographer and Research Librarian
Princeton University Library
Received on Fri Jul 13 2007 - 11:50:13 BST

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