Re: Central vs. Distributed Archives

From: Greg Kuperberg <greg_at_MATH.UCDAVIS.EDU>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 09:45:21 -0800

On my other points:

On Thu, Nov 02, 2000 at 03:07:58PM +0000, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> I have, as moderator, terminated discussion on a few irrelevant or
> saturated topics (is there a conspiracy of university administrators to
> control researchers' intellectual property? is the library serials
> crisis simply a consequence of under-funding the libraries? how can we
> reform or abandon peer review?), but comments, whether supportive or
> critical, on the Forum's central theme -- "How to free the refereed
> literature online, now? -- have never been suppressed.

You may see it as closing discussion of all sides of a topic, but I see
some character of closing down just one side of a debate. Obviously you
are referring to Al Henderson's argument that free scholarly communication
is a stress response to penny-pinching by university administrations.
I'll grant that he has said that many times, and I'll also grant that the
argument sounds absurd to me. (I am one of the researchers supposedly
bullied by the administration, and if anything my complaint is that
the higher-ups are biased in favor of the historical subscription-based
system.) But even though I don't agree with him at all, he is no more
repetitive than you are or I am. Invoking cloture strikes me as an

> I couldn't agree with you more! But what gives you the impression that
> this Forum is trying to prevent companies from doing whatever they
> like?

What you said originally was:

   The Elsevier policy of publicly archiving pre-refereeing preprints
   could be a good first step towards the optimal and inevitable, but it
   is also possible that it is intended as a Trojan Horse,...

I think it's divisive to speculate that someone else's e-print archive is
a Trojan Horse. It's true that I'm not sure that the CPS is compatible
with Elsevier's mission of maximizing profit. But let's give it the
benefit of the doubt.
  /\  Greg Kuperberg (UC Davis)
 /  \
 \  / Visit the Math ArXiv Front at
  \/  * All the math that's fit to e-print *
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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