Re: Call for Commentary:

From: Lorre Smith <>
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 04:38:28 +0000

Quality control and copyright, more about costs and ...

Lorre Smith

After watching the phenomena that Dr. Harnad describes for the last
three decades, I agree with his assessment of the situation.I believe
that now we have appropriate technology in place. However, I believe
that most of the change must take place in the traditions of quality
control and copyright.

Regarding section 3.2:

What about the role of editors and scholarly societies in enforcing
1)appropriate copyright agreements and 2)refereeing and distribution

In my opinion, editors might exert considerable influence in regard to
the role of publishers. It is also my opinion that scholarly societies
that contract with publishers may exert even more influence by
scrutinizing contracts or composing contracts that enforce more
appropriate policies.

It is also important for senior scholars to show the way, and to
encourage mentees by introducing and encouraging new ways of quality
control. It is senior scholars who must begin to recognize and reward
publication through new and changing venues. It is senior scholars
who must understand and advise junior scholars concerning appropriate
publication. It is senior schoars who can afford to take the risks of
publishing in the new venues so that new venues achieve elite status.

I think Dr. Harnad is right to begin to attack the various issues with
pragmatic responses. Another group of scholars have formed the Public
Library of Science I do think that Dr. Harnad has neglected to
consider carefully (in his article) the full costs of self-archiving
and insitutional costs for electronic archives. These facilities are
not inexpensive. Building and maintaining appropriate interfaces and
search engines are not cost free. While it is true that institutions
will be free of subscription costs in the hundreds and thousands of
dollars, those dollars may go quickly to information systems that will
provide access to archives. The considerable shift in institutional
responsibility will not happen in the wink of an eye.

Lorre Smith, mardi 20 novembre 21:59 (heure de Paris)
Received on Thu Nov 22 2001 - 04:39:14 GMT

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