Re: Call for Commentary:

From: Dan Sperber <>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 04:02:50 +0000

[Please post responses to
A copy can also go to this Forum if you wish, but the
primary text should go to the text-e -- S.H.]

A concrete case: What should we do?

Dan Sperber

Here is a concrete problem. The advice you provide will help us resolve
it and will also clarify, if they are not yet clear, the practical
consequences of the theoretical views under discussion in this debate.

We are tempted, at the Jean Nicod Institute (,
to follow Stevan Harnad's advice and to set up eprint archives for all
the researchers of the Institute (several of us already have a personal
site with their articles on line). Ideally, it is the larger
institutions to which the Institute belongs (the CNRS, the EHESS and
the ENS) that should create such archives, but since this may not
happen for a while, we might first do it at our level.


Is an Institute with some 20 researchers too small to follow Harnad's model?

Is it a good idea?

Would it be better not to do anything at all?

Whereas general CNRS Eprint Archives do not yet look imminent, the CCSD
does appear to be disposed to help the Nicod Institute to establish its
own Eprint Archives. I have had two extremely encouraging messages in
this connection from Franck Laloe and Daniel Charnay.

Our conference has hence already had concrete effects which I find very
positive. However, two questions I raised in this discussion thread
still remain unanswered.

Are there better alternatives?

Are there objections to online self-archiving by a research institution
like ours?

All the responses up to now have been positive, for which I am
grateful. I would now like to hear objections or alternatives, if there
are any. Although I myself am quite convinced of the benefits of the
self-archiving Harnad proposes, I hope I am open-minded enough to
reflect seriously on any counterarguments or cautions. I will in any
case share all feedback with the members of the Nicod Institute who
will be making a group decision. Thus, if any of you think we are on
the wrong track, this is the moment to say so! Your views will be of
considerable interest to this discussion of Harnad's text.

Dan Sperber
Institut Jean Nicod
1bis av. Lowendal
75007 Paris, France
Received on Fri Nov 23 2001 - 04:03:12 GMT

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