Re: Commentary on Eco: "Authors and Authority"

From: Laurent Guerby <guerby_at_ACM.ORG>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 23:08:46 +0100

Stevan Harnad wrote:
> [Comment on: Umberto Eco's "Authors and Authority"
> Further commnets invited]

"I authorize the use of my participation" is the only legal-looking mention
I could find on the web site. What is the copyright/license status of
the discussion taking place there?

>>ECO: "A filtering authority is not a "censor" but a consultant."
> Correct. Or, even more specifically, in the PostGutenberg age a
> learned journal becomes a peer-review service that controls the quality
> of scientific and scholarly research, and certifies the outcome. (Nor
> is this merely passive green-light/red-light, filtering! Peer review
> is a dynamic interaction, sometimes involving several rounds of
> refereeing, revision, and re-refereeing, mediated and adjudicated by the
> editor.

I've never been in a peer-review situation: in the traditional
Gutenberg era, are the author-reviewer interactions archived and
made "public" after the green/red-light staus has been delivered?

If not, then it is a major loss to people studying the scientific
process, and I hope the Post-Gutenberg thinkers will address the issue
by technically keeping the "making-of" available as well
as the final paper.

And we definitely need more people understanding the scientific process
outside the scientific community, this could be very fruitful.

I did not read the paper by Umberto Eco,
but from your quotes and answers it looks like he shows a pretty basic lack
of knowledge about the existence of this very process, it is quite
surprising for such
a visible writer (but I don't know the writer community that well

> Harnad, S. (2001) Skyreading and Skywriting for Researchers: A
> Post-Gutenberg Anomaly and How to Resolve it.

Any "free" format version of the "ebook" stuff archived somewhere (by other
authors, I assume it is available on your web site :)?

I do not wish to give personal information to a US based
company (US laws are far too weak and typical company practices are
beyond anything
reasonable), they don't provide a reader for my operating
system, and if I believe the explanation from the text-e web site
it is all "super great" because the Adobe software handles the
downloading... Great so they keep my reading records too?
And they will disable the software on my machine when I read an Adobe
paper as allowed by the DMCA?

Am I mistaken, or there is a lot of education to do here? I did
not check the previous forums, may be this was adressed.

Feel free to forward my message to anyone (or even post it), I'm willing
to try to describe
the issues in a less technical and longer way by email to the web site
organizers, but may be someone is in a better position (knowing
some of the people involved in the text-e project for example to avoid
miscommunication). I understand that presenting these issues can be

Laurent Guerby <>
Has anyone a bibliography of "sociology" papers on the scientific
process? Free full text would be great :). Thanks in advance.
Received on Thu Feb 28 2002 - 22:35:21 GMT

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