Re: Discussing is Ok, but what should we do in practice?

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 10:29:02 +0000

Most of the points made by Albert Henderson do not require rebuttal,
because the vested and conflicting interests are just too obvious. I
will accordingly only comment where there might be some information to

In response to scientists' pleas for the broadest possible
of their research findings in the online-era, Henderson suggests:

> ah> Your institution probably located itself in Philadelphia
> ah> because of the tremendous intellectual resources available
> ah> there. You should be able to use local libraries. Your
> ah> librarian should be able to get photocopies via interlibrary
> ah> loan at no cost to you.

> ah> Have you thought of presenting your paper at a meeting?
> ah> That is how dissemination of research has been speeded
> ah> since before the Royal Society started.

In response to scientists' concerns about the conflict of interest
inherent in attempts to to retain the on-paper/for-fee model in the
online/for-free era, Henderson suggests:

> ah> If you want the recognition of your peers, you have to
> ah> recognize their interests in protecting publishers' investment
> ah> in formal dissemination that will be covered by indexes and
> ah> abstracts for many years.

The open archives, with full-text archiving, will no doubt induce even
greater restructuring for secondary (abstract/index) publishers than it
will for primary (refereed journal) publishers. The latter will still
have a niche as quality-control/certification (QC/C) service providers;
but the Web's burgeoning native search resources (once the refereed
literature is in the interoperable open archives) are likely to give the
for-fee secondaries a (free) run for their money!

Stevan Harnad
Professor of Cognitive Science
Department of Electronics and phone: +44 23-80 592-582
             Computer Science fax: +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton

NOTE: A complete archive of this ongoing discussion of providing free
access to the refereed journal literature is available at the American
Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00):

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Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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