Re: For Sandy Thatcher: A Sample of Copy-Editing

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 23:09:05 EDT

On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 10:51 PM, Sandy Thatcher
<> wrote:

> I think you missed my point, Stevan. I wasn't making any claims about
> copyediting standards. But to the extent that Green OA involves NO
> copyediting at all, how can universities claim with a straight face
> that poorly written articles enhance their reputations by being
> freely accessible online?

We are in the realm of opinion and taste here, rather than objectivity
or fact, but I would first point out that the primary purpose of OA is
to further scientific and scholarly research progress, not
particularly to further institutional reputations (at least not

It is not for the sake of the author's university, but for the growth
of knowledge in the online era that research findings need to be made
accessible to all would-be users and not just those whose institutions
can afford to subscribe to the journal in which the work was

> Are universities not judged by standards of writing as well as standards of research quality?

Yes (in some fields). But that judgment is based on the published
version of record, not the author's draft.

> Or is it just generally assumed that professors can't write well anyway and are not expected to do so?

Some can, many can't. This was always true (with and without the
help of copy editors).

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sat Aug 28 2010 - 05:03:44 BST

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