Distinguishing the Essentials from the Optional Add-Ons

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 20:45:33 +0100

On Wed, 25 Jul 2001, George Lundberg wrote:

> and, believe it or not, editors perform a (some) useful function(s), or at
> least editors and publishers seem to think they do
> of course i am biased (ie informed)

And those functions are part of the peer review implementation costs
(selecting referees, processing referee reports, providing editorial
dispositions). (Would you agree that 23 years as Editor of a paper
journal and 11 years as Editor of an online journal qualifies me as
somewhat informed too?)

Here's an algorithm for parsing the essentials from the optional
add-ons: Whatever is needed to generate the final refereed draft is
essential (and its true costs can and will be paid). The rest is
optional. The add-ons can of course continue to be sold for as long as
there is a market for them (and that might be forever), in which case
there is no problem about how to pay for the essentials: the add-ons
do. But there is no longer any justification whatsoever for trying to
hold the essentials hostage to the add-ons -- not even for another

If the add-ons are indeed valued in their own right, they will continue
to be paid for even after the essentials (the peer-reviewed final
drafts) are available free for all online. If not, the essentials can
be paid for out of the windfall savings from the cancellation of the

Stevan Harnad harnad_at_cogsci.soton.ac.uk
Professor of Cognitive Science harnad_at_princeton.edu
Department of Electronics and phone: +44 23-80 592-582
             Computer Science fax: +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/
Highfield, Southampton http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing free
access to the refereed journal literature online is available at the
American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01):


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

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