Re: Nihil obstat

From: Sally Morris (Morris Associates) <"Sally>
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 11:12:10 +0100

Dear Stevan

Forgive my impertinence, but I believe that most list participants would
much prefer to read other people's postings as they stand. You could
respond to them, as others do, in a separate message. You do not have an
obligation to critique every posting - many of us would be delighted if you
refrained from doing so!

Posting messages only with your own commentary could, indeed, be seen as a
form of censorship (though I wouldn't put it that strongly)


Sally Morris
Consultant, Morris Associates (Publishing Consultancy)
South House, The Street
Clapham, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3UU, UK
Tel: +44(0)1903 871286
Fax: +44(0)8701 202806
-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
Sent: 02 October 2008 01:21
Subject: Nihil obstat


(1) For some odd reason, Jean-Claude is accusing me of censorship: I
wonder why? since every single one of his postings to the AmSci Forum
has appeared, in full, as he can confirm by consulting the archive:

(2) Everyone, including the moderator, has the right to post replies
to the AmSci Forum, just as Jean-Claude does. The moderator's replies
have no special status, one way or the other, other than what status
they may earn through their substance.

(3) My own frequent strategy in these exchanges with Jean-Claude (as
anyone who looks over those sad sections of the AmSci Archive can
confirm) has been to cease replying once Jean-Claude lapses into
flaming, as he alas almost invariably does, at least in his exchanges
with me. (I was on the verge of prepending that caveat to my own first
reply in this latest series, to the effect that I would reply for the
moment, but if and when Jean-Claude started flaming again, the floor
was his alone. Well, I hereby postpend that now. The Forum is all
yours, Jean-Claude.)

Imprimi potest!

Stephanus Primus

On Wed, Oct 1, 2008 at 1:06 PM, Jean-Claude Guédon
<> wrote:
> I find this form of behaviour unacceptable. It borders on unacknowledged
> censorship.
> Let me give a quick example: I never conflated citability and branding,
> Stevan does in his "summary". So beware of Stevan's "summaries". They read
> more like polemical devices or editorials.
> It also and clearly illustrates how he often misreads what people write.
> I call on Stevan simply to post the whole message I sent last night. It is
> not very long and it points out how Stevan does not dialogue well.
> It is not for him, as moderator, to judge what is tedious or not,
> monumentally trivial or not. A moderator should address the issue of
> relevance, not tediousness. He or she should also carefully distinguish
> between his (her) role as moderator and as party in a discussion.
> Perhaps Stevan should give up the moderation of this list and thus enjoy
> greater polemical freedom.
> Jean-Claude Guédon
> Le mercredi 01 octobre 2008 à 09:19 -0400, Stevan Harnad a écrit :
> I think AmSci Forum readers may be finding this exchange rather
> tedious. I will summarize, and then let Jean-Claude have the last word.
> (1) Jean-Claude thinks there is a problem for specifying the locus of
> quoted passages when citing a work if the pagination of the OA
> postprint one has accessed differs from the pagination of the
> publisher's PDF.
> (2) He does not like the solution of citing the published work, as
> usual, linking the postprint's URL, for quote-checking, and specifying
> the locus of the quote by paragraph number instead of page number.
> (3) He prefers to upgrade the status of the postprint in some way, so
> as to "brand" it as "citable," and then citing the postprint instead
> of citing the published work.
> Judicat Emptor. This strikes me as a monumentally trivial non-problem
> and an unnecessary and incoherent proposed solution.
> Stevan Harnad
> On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 10:02 PM, Jean-Claude Guédon
> <> wrote:
>> Sigh... I will respond below
>> Le mardi 30 septembre 2008 à 17:48 -0400, Stevan Harnad a écrit :
>> Jean-Claude Guedon thinks that because an article published by Joe
>> Bloggs in Nature (2008, volume X, Number Y, pp NN-MM) is not OA, and
>> Joe Bloggs's OA postprint of the final, refereed draft of his Nature
>> article, self-archived in his Institional Repository (IR), is
>> unpaginated, hence one cannot specify the location of a quoted passage
>> in the Nature version except by paragraph number, one should not cite
>> the Nature version, but the self-archived postprint.
>> 1. I am not going to introduce a new way of locating quotations by using
>> paragraph numbers. I do not even feel like counting paragraphs.
>> 2. I never said that the archived article was unpaginated; I said it may
>> be
>> paginated differently from the journal pagination.
>> 3. It is not that one should not cite the Nature version; it is that one
>> cannot cite the Nature version completely.
>> What I ask is: What does it mean to "cite" the postprint of a
>> published Nature article? I would think you cite the publication, the
>> Nature article, and give the URL of the postprint for access purposes.
>> So I have a quote and I refer to the journal article and its general
>> citation, and then I send the reader to the archived version and explain
>> how
>> to find the exact passage in the archived version? This is quite
>> complicated, it seems to me.
>> Jean-Claude seems to think the postprint itself should be upgraded
>> into a "publication" in its own right: How? And what does that mean?
>> It is not upgraded into a publication. It is de facto a publication. The
>> article has been peer reviewed and it is publicly accessible.
>> That instead of proudly listing his paper in his CV as having been
>> published by Nature, a peer-reviewed journal of some repute, Joe
>> Bloggs should list it as having been published by his own
>> Institutional Repository?
>> That again is stretching my words in strange directions. I am pointing to
>> something lacking in referring precisely to a quotation. This does not
>> prevent me from putting the journal reference (and the repository
>> reference)
>> in my cv. I dom not even begin to understand how that issue ever arose.
>> And what does "published" mean under these
>> circumstances? With Nature, it means Nature conducted a peer review,
>> to determine whether the article met Nature's quality standards.
>> the self-archived article is the same as the peer reviewed article in the
>> journal. The archived article will also mention the general citation from
>> the journal. It may even link to that journal. This still does not allow
>> me
>> to clarify completely a specific quotation from the journal. But the
>> article
>> in the repository has clearly been perr reviewed. No problem there.
>> Is
>> the author's institution to conduct yet another "peer review" on the
>> same peer-reviewed article, to determine whether it has met that
>> institution's quality standards? Why?
>> I never said that.
>> And would this mean that all
>> postprints in that IR meet the same quality standards (Nature's)?
>> I never even began to come close to this issue. Please read what I write
>> carefully.
>> Sounds closer to in-house vanity publishing to me, except that it's
>> more like in-house vanity RE-publishing.
>> I suppose so, but it does not concern me. I never said that. This is
>> science-fiction.
>> I think this line of thinking is not only unrealistic but incoherent
>> -- and, most of all, unnecessary, since it is trying to "solve" a
>> non-existent problem: What work to cite when you have access only to
>> the OA postprint of a published article? The answer is obvious: You
>> cite the *published article*, and add the OA postprint's URL to the
>> citation for those who cannot afford access to the publisher's
>> proprietary version. (And quote passages by paragraph number.)
>> The proposed solution is not satisfactory. It is not satisfactory
>> when I give a reference to a precise quote, I must add the page number.
>> Now,
>> this page number may mean nothing to citation calculators, but it means a
>> whole lot to the reader and to the conventions carefully taught in class
>> about ways to cite a quotation in a scholarly piece of work. Adding a URL
>> is
>> not enough. For example, if someone wants to quote my quotation, that
>> person
>> should be able to quote an original source, not a derivative. If that
>> person
>> does not have access to the journal either, the problem I initially
>> encountered recurs for that second author.
>> Jean-Claude Guédon
>> Stevan Harnad
>> On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 4:54 PM, Jean-Claude Guédon
>> <> wrote:
>>> Quoting means extracting a passage from a text and inserting it within
>>> another text one is writing. It is often placed within quotation marks,
>>> but
>>> not always as quoting conventions obey complex and variable rules.
>>> means giving a reference for a quoted text, or for some facts or
>>> found in another article, book, etc. This distinction has been dealt
>>> repeatedly in the past.
>>> Even if I follow Stevan's distinction, I need both to quote and cite (in
>>> Stevan's sense of the words) when I work and I cannot be satisfied with
>>> only
>>> citing. I am not the only to have this need. Consequently, not having
>>> access
>>> to the citable version prevents me from doing all of my work because the
>>> precise location of what I need remains unknown to me. However, if an IR
>>> declares that an article under its stewardship is also citable, then, I
>>> can
>>> do all my work, including giving a precise location for a quotation, or
>>> fact, or an opinion, etc. This simply means that I recognize the IR as a
>>> publication instrument, i.e. it makes documents public and not simply as
>>> a
>>> collection of texts open to reading and nothing else. In fact, limiting
>>> IR
>>> texts only to reading would contravene the requirements for something to
>>> be
>>> truly in open access.
>>> At this junction, the question of which version(s) is (are) reference
>>> versions emerges. I submit that articles archived in IR's can become
>>> references as much as the version appearing in a journal.
>>> There is a well-known precedent for this. Articles are sometimes
>>> reprinted
>>> in a different journal or an anthology. Once this is done, either
>>> can be cited and is cited. Sometimes, it is the reprinted version that
>>> becomes the better known citation.
>>> Stevan may not like this line of reasoning because it blurs the
>>> distinction
>>> he tries so hard to maintain between journals and IR's. His thesis is
>>> that
>>> IR's and journals can coexist simply because they do not fulfil at all
>>> the
>>> same functions. However, this is Stevan's thesis, not a universally
>>> accepted situation and it cannot be mistaken for a fact. A more sensible
>>> representation of reality is to state that the functions of journals and
>>> IR's, although not identical, overlap. We can then discuss the amount of
>>> overlap.
>>> To say this amounts to claim a publishing role for IR's and for
>>> self-archiving. I claim that role. The fact that IR's can be harvested
>>> powerful search engines supports the thesis that depositing an article
>>> an
>>> IR is a form of publishing. Only if IR's worked like the drawer of my
>>> desk
>>> (which I gladly leave in open access to anyone wanting to access it),
>>> could
>>> we say that it is not a form of publishing. IR's are not shy silos of
>>> knowledge that just sit there, in open access, but with no way to
>>> attentiuon to themselves. on the contrary, they can be found and used
>>> thanks
>>> to some Google scholar or OAIster.
>>> The relationship between an article published in a journal and another
>>> version residing in a repository is quite different from that between an
>>> original piece of art and a copy. I believe Walter Benjamin has
>>> significantly on this topic (The Work of Art in the Age of its
>>> Technological
>>> Reproducibility). The article in the repository is not a copy of an
>>> original
>>> article; it is a version of an article. The journal article is also a
>>> version, another version, and nothing more. The article is identified by
>>> its
>>> title XXXX and its author(s) YYYYY and its content. This is how
>>> law would identify it. The ways in which a given version is branded
>>> depends
>>> on a number of variables (authors' names, authors' institutions, journal
>>> titles, etc. ). For the moment, IR's do not yet know very well how to
>>> brand, but nothing prevents thinking about ways to achieve this result.
>>> Personally, I believe we should be thinking hard about this precise
>>> issue.
>> Jean-Claude Guédon
>> Université de Montréal
> Jean-Claude Guédon
> Université de Montréal
Received on Fri Oct 03 2008 - 11:39:14 BST

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