Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 13:30:43 +0000

First, our goal was to get all peer-reviewed research journal articles (2.5M
annually, published in 25K journals) deposited in an OA IR,
so all potential users could access them.

Now we are talking about instead reforming the entire research publication
and communication system.

Could we complete the smaller task first, please?

It just might facilitate the bigger one too.

Then we can move on to eliminating world hunger, disease, conflict and
injustice. (But, please, let's not try to do that first either!)

    A Note of Caution About "Reforming the System" (2001)

Stevan Harnad

On Tue, 11 Mar 2008, Matthew J. Dovey wrote:

> Since everyone seems in a mood to debate and challenge the status quo, I'd
> like to raise the debate up a level of abstraction.
> Personally (take that as a hint this is a personal view which may not
> necessarily reflect any JISC policy), I feel that the current scholarly
> communications methodology places too much emphasis on the research paper
> being the end deliverable of the research process, rather than being just
> a means of communication during the research process. I feel that this is
> a relatively new phenomenon (some may argue reinforced and artificially
> induced by the various assessment mechanisms) - Newton's or Einstein's
> correspondence (etc.) is regards as an important contribution to the
> research areas as any of their papers. I have read philosophical papers
> which are really letters debating a matter to and fro but published in a
> public media (indeed almost blogging).
> I'd really like pose the questions: whether and how we get the scholarly
> comms process back to being a communications mechanism during the research
> process - rather than the paper being the end goal and final objective of
> the process; whether and how we make this a continuous process of
> discourse, rather than a discrete process with the paper being the
> quantum; and whether I'm completely off the track here ;-)
> I feel that some of the Web 2.0 social community/networking stuff may
> provide some of the answer here - but also realise that this raises real
> challenges, fears (not all unfounded) and possibly entrenchment from
> researchers, those attempting to assess research and the publishing
> community as a whole.
> Thoughts?
> Matthew
Received on Tue Mar 11 2008 - 13:32:10 GMT

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