Re: Who Should Notify Authors Whenever They Are Cited?

From: Michael Kurtz <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 14:13:48 -0500

The weekly myADS-arXiv service ( includes a
notification when papers in arXiv cite the subscriber, for an example
see the one for me:

There is an equivalent myADS service for the Astronomy and Physics
journals (nearly all TA).

Michael Kurtz

Stevan Harnad wrote:

      Peter Suber wrote in Open Access News:

      Notifying authors when they are cited 
      Elsevier has launched CiteAlert, a free service
      notifying authors when one of their papers is cited
      by an Elsevier journal.  (Thanks
      to ResourceShelf.)  The service only covers
      citations to articles published since 2005 in
      journals indexed by Scopus.


 * This is useful as far as it goes, and I can see why
    Elsevier can't take it much further on its own.  But
    imagine if all journal publishers offered similar
    services.  The utility of receiving their reports, knowing
    that they comprehensively covered the field, would be
    immense.  But the labor of signing up for each one
    separately would also be immense, not to mention the labor
    of re-creating the service at thousands of different
    publishers.  The bother of reading separate reports from
    separate publishers would also be immense.  I understand
    that Elsevier's portfolio is larger than anyone else's, but
    the long tail of academic publishing means that Elsevier's
    titles still constitute less than 10% of all of
    peer-reviewed journals.
 * I'd like to see a service that notifies authors when one of
    their works is cited by any journal, regardless of its
    publisher.  If this can't be done by a creative developer
    harvesting online information (because the harvester
    doesn't have access to TA sites), then how about a
    consortial solution from the publishers themselves?  And
    don't stop at emails to authors.  Create RSS feeds which
    users can mash-up in any way they like.  Imagine getting a
    feed of your citations from this hypothetical service and a
    feed of your downloads from your institutional repository. 
    Imagine your IR feeding the citations in your articles to
    an OA database, upon which anyone could draw, including
    this hypothetical service.
 * Who could do this?  OpenURL?  CrossRef?  ParaCite?  Google
    Scholar?  OCLC (after it acquiresOAIster)? A developer at
    an institution like Harvard with access to the bulk
    of TA journals?  Perhaps someone could build the OA
    database now, with the citation-input and email- and
    RSS-output functions, and worry later about how to recruit
    publishers and repositories and/or how to harvest their
It is clear who should notify whom -- once the global research
community's (Green OA ) task is done. Our task is first to get
all refereed research journal articles self-archived in their
authors' Institutional Repositories (IRs) immediately upon
acceptance for publication. (To accomplish that we need
universal Green OA deposit mandates to be adopted by all
institutions and funders, worldwide.)

Once all current and future articles are being immediately
deposited in their authors' IRs, the rest is easy: 

The articles are all in OAI-compliant IRs. The IR software
treats the articles in the reference list of each of its own
deposited articles as metadata, to be linked to the cited
article, where it too is deposited in the distributed network
of IRs. A citation harvesting service operating over this
interlinked network of IRs can then provide (among many, many
other scientometric services ) a notification service, emailing
each author of a deposited article whenever a new deposit cites
it. (No proporietary firewalls, no toll- or access-barriers:
IR-to-IR, i.e., peer-to-peer.)

Stevan Harnad

Dr. Michael J. Kurtz
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

VOICE: +1-617-495-7434
FAX: +1-617-495-7467
Received on Thu Jan 29 2009 - 23:29:44 GMT

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