Re: Author's final draft and citing

From: C.J.Smith <C.J.Smith_at_OPEN.AC.UK>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2008 09:59:50 +0100

While those of us managing and administering institutional repositories
on a daily basis are familiar with the term 'postprint' and what it
covers, the academics to whom we are trying to advocate our services are
not. If I were to ask an academic new to self-archiving for the
postprint of their paper, they would more than likely send me the
publisher's PDF because, literally speaking, that is the post-print. In
fact, many academics I have spoken to who have been self-archiving for
some time still do not understand why we insist on calling a version
that hasn't been printed, or at least isn't in print form, a
'postprint'. Many of the points raised by academics when explaining why
they don't self-archive in their institution's repository revolve around
it taking too much time and it being too confusing. Ambiguous
terminology fuels that fire and I wonder have we been shooting ourselves
in the foot by sticking to our guns on this one?

Colin Smith
Research Repository Manager
Open University, UK

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
Sent: 30 September 2008 19:38
Subject: Re: Author's final draft and citing

On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 1:26 PM, Sally Morris (Morris Associates)
<> wrote:
> Setting aside for the moment all arguments about who should do
> what with which versions, it would be an excellent idea if all players
> started using the standard terminology for different article versions,
> as advocated by NISO - see
> The term 'postprint' is particularly confusing, and should be
> abandoned forthwith, IMHO!

One wonders whose interests it would serve if we were to act in
accordance with Sally's HO: the worldwide research community's or the
worldwide publisher community's (including NISO's)?

"Preprint" means the unrefereed draft of a paper and "Postprint" means
the refereed draft (accepted for publication).

"Postprint" covers both the author's final, accepted draft and the
publisher's proprietary PDF. But, as I pointed out -- and that was the
whole point of my posting -- for purposes of research and researcher
usage, the critical watershed is peer review: The postprint is
anything past that watershed. Further distinctions among postprints
are irrelevant to Open Access as well as to questions about citation:

Cite the published work, and access whichever postprint you can access.


Stevan Harnad

The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).
Received on Wed Oct 01 2008 - 15:41:14 BST

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