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[BOAI] Re: Copyright, Embargo, and the Ingelfinger Rule
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad AT ecs.soton.ac.uk>
On Mon, 16 Jun 2003, Fytton Rowland wrote: > >sh> the author population is exactly the same as the referee > >sh> population > > That statement is untrue. Not all authors referee, either for one > particular journal, or at all. Remove "exactly" and replace it ↵ with > "substantially" and it might become true. Fytton is quite right. And this also leaves the point I was making substantially true: Authors and referees are substantially the same population, so if referees make appeal X to journal publishers then it is substantially the same people making appeal X if the referees add their voices (mutatis mutandis for a few journals). This does not at all mean that it is not a good idea to make the research community's wishes known to journal publishers, whether they are wearing their authors' hats, their referees' hats or their readers' hats. My points were these: (1) Insofar as the right to self-archive preprints and/or postprints is concerned, there is no longer any substantial obstacle. 55% of journals officially support it already; most of the rest will agree on an individual article basis if asked; and for the few that do not, there remains the preprint+corrigenda option: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ls/disresearch/romeo/Romeo%20Publisher%20Policies.htm http://www.eprints.org/self-faq/#publisher-forbids That was also the very ecumenical sense at the STM publishers' meeting in Amsterdam: http://www.stm-assoc.org/infosharing/springconference-prog.html So, insofar as self-archiving is concerned, the publishers do not appear to be what is slowing us up! What effort we choose to devote to open-access is hence far better devoted to actually self-archiving our own work, rather than appealing to publishers (as authors or referees or readers) to allow their authors to do it: They already allow it. (Having self-archived one's own work, however, if there is some more time one wishes to contribute to open access as author or referee [or reader], it would of course be very helpful if the commitment of those publishers who already support self-archiving were reinforced by an expression of appreciation, and if publishers not yet supporting it were strongly encouraged to fall in step with the majority on this issue that is so important to the research community and to research itself). (2) My second (and longer) point was that expressions of the research community's desire for open access (whether expressed wearing their author's, referee's, or reader's hats) will have substantially more credibility if they are voiced to publishers *after* the research community has taken the obvious self-help steps that are already within its own power, namely, self-archiving their own research. Asking publishers to take risks or make sacrifices for the sake of open access on our behalf is less convincing if we have not even taken the available no-risk, no-sacrifice steps for the sake of open access that are already open to us. (Publishers would otherwise be quite justified in concluding that, in that case, we are not really all that serious about open access: ready to sign petitions, but nothing more.) > This statement has much in common with the frequently made one that, for > any given journal, the authors and the readers are the same people. That > isn't true either - there are students, schoolteachers and practitioners > who read the scholarly literature but do not contribute to it. I completely agree about that too -- but it is also why I stress authors and referees (i.e., researchers) rather than readers in all arguments for open access. The unique and uncontestable rationale for open access to refereed research is that it is for the sake of the research *impact*: that means the degree to which research is read, used, applied and cited by other researchers, pure and applied. It is research impact that rewards research funders, and the employers of researchers, and the researchers themselves. http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving.htm Yes, being read by students, teachers, practitioners, and the general public is very welcome and desirable too (and download impact will soon be added to the battery of new research impact measures http://citebase.eprints.org/cgi-bin/search and new online measures of "teaching impact" will no doubt also be designed and used to reward online courseware productivity: http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/2523.html ) but it will always remain true that the primary targets of refereed research publication are researchers -- i.e., authors and referees, and not merely readers in general. It is precisely for this reason that refereed research is and has always been an author give-away, not written for royalties or fees, but for research impact. It is precisely for this reason that toll-barriers, being impact-barriers, are so counterproductive and undesirable for research and researchers, and why open access is so beneficial and desirable. http://www.arl.org/scomm/subversive/toc.html Harnad, S., Varian, H. & Parks, R. (2000) Academic publishing in the online era: What Will Be For-Fee And What Will Be For-Free? Culture Machine 2 (Online Journal) ↵ http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j002/Articles/art_harn.htm If the appeal for open access were simply based on the desire of maximizing readership, *all* authors would want to give their writing away -- but they do not, because most are *not* writing primarily for research impact. Nor is a reader-based appeal for open access (from students, teachers, and the general public) a very persuasive rationale for open access, considering that those readers would welcome just as fervently open access to *all* writing -- books, textbooks, magazines. The unique and specific rationale for open-access to refereed research output -- which is that it is written purely for the sake of research impact, not sales revenue -- would be lost, if it were conflated with and diluted by a generalized consumer appeal for a free product. http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Tp/resolution.htm#1.1 Stevan Harnad
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