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Re: [BOAI] Re: Cliff Lynch on Institutional Archives

From: Sebastien Paquet <paquetse AT>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 21:36:15 -0500 (EST)

Threading: [BOAI] Re: Cliff Lynch on Institutional Archives from harnad AT
      • This Message
             [BOAI] Re: Cliff Lynch on Institutional Archives from harnad AT

On Mon, 17 Mar 2003, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> (I couldn't quite see the point about why individuals couldn't do it,
> and a whole discipline needs to be convinced. Surely individuals
> come first, but never mind.) 

I believe Thomas Krichel is referring to a network effect. A single
telephone is useless; the usefulness of having a telephone increases with
the overall number of telephones. A similar argument can be made for
putting papers in open access, but the value to a particular researcher
strongly depends on the number of people who are also doing it (or at
least using open archives) in his discipline and only weakly on the number
of people who are doing it in other disciplines. This is why it makes
sense to say, as he writes:

 "As long as others in the discipline are not doing it, there
  is little interest in the individual scholar doing it."

Since scholars are much better socially interconnected within disciplines,
peer pressure is likely to drive authors towards open access on a
disciplinary basis. It would be so much easier to convince a researcher 
to jump in if he were persuaded that everyone else in his discipline is 
also going to do it!

Sébastien Paquet
Université de Montréal
Seb's Open Research -
news, pointers and thoughts on the evolution of knowledge sharing

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