Re: Self-archiving downstream

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001 13:55:38 +0100

On Sun, 3 Jun 2001, Peter Macinnis wrote:

> I suspect that there would be quite a few biologists who have no clear
> notion of what a cytokine is, for example -- but there would be many more
> teachers of science who have no idea what a cytokine is, and a far greater
> number of students in that position....
> My science-teacher wife has a recent textbook on her shelf that refers to
> Zinjanthropus, a name that ceased to have any application other than
> historical in 1965: it seems to me that the information-poor are among us,
> in all our schools. Is it possible to enrich them?

Try google:

Although the freeing of the refereed research literature will have
spinoff benefits for students, teachers and journalists, that is not
its primary motivation. The freeing of the refereed research
literature is for the sake of its primary users, researchers, and
hence for the sake of research itself.

It is VERY important not to confuse this specific, focussed,
research-based objective with more general "freedom of information"
issues. (For one thing, even when researchers themselves do more
popular writing -- whether as books or magazine articles -- that
usually falls in the "work for hire" category [royalty, fee, salary],
hence NOT the give-away category in which all of the primary refereed
research corpus falls.)

Journalists (and students, and teachers, and the general public) will
definitely benefit from the liberation of the refereed literature
online, but they should keep a low profile for now, because the
motification and justification for self-archiving comes ONLY from
considerations of research impact and productivity for researchers.
The rest is an irrelevant market/trade matter, in no way specific to
this give-away refereed research literature.

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
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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