Re: Napster: stealing another's vs. giving away one's own

From: Lee Miller <lnm2_at_CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 13:57:57 -0500

At 10:23 PM 3/3/2002 Sunday -0500, you wrote:
>My father (who lives in Canada and reads the Globe & Mail regularly)
>was just asking me about this article :-) I hope Andrew Odlyzko
>was misquoted on the "do the same thing for $100,000"! Perhaps he'll
>explain himself...
>Anyway, on a somewhat related topic, I have a question for Stevan
>and the others who propose continuing to use journal publication
>as a stamp of approval on the free literature: What mechanism
>is proposed for ensuring the validity of the "published in ... journal"

The preferred answer, it seems to me, is to include a link to the journal's
table of contents, where the published article is listed. This provides an
error-free verification of the article's validity. (Assuming that an online
version of the journal exists.)

If the article has been accepted but not yet published, the link could
refer to the journal's list of unpublished accepted articles. This would
require the journal's willingness to publish such a list.

Journals increasingly are choosing to follow the model in which articles
are published online very soon after acceptance, prior to print
publication. This has long been the practice of some free online journals
like Conservation Ecology (

>Currently the arXiv approach is a bit of a mix, but I believe
>mostly the journal publication information is supplied by authors
>rather than by the publishers. Is this a potential problem? We've
>talked a bit about the issue of minor differences between the published
>and "arXiv" versions - but what about the potential for abuse? If the
>information is author-controlled then an author could easily pad
>his "publication" list with invalid references to a few obscure journals
>that almost nobody subscribes to any more. Or perhaps even
>"valid" references to papers with slightly or completely different
>author lists (the published version missing this particular author...),
>slightly different titles, etc... The traditional argument I believe is
>that such abuses would be caught, but would they, if most users trust the
>arXiv rather than going to published journal sites? And even if
>caught, could it take years, long enough for an malfeasant author to
>accumulate significant grant funding, research salary, etc.?
>The ultimate solution is to ensure that the journal references
>are placed by responsible parties - either the journal publishers
>themselves, or perhaps secondary abstracting/indexing publishers
>(though those can also be guilty of egregious errors in their databases),
>or perhaps by groups of established and authenticated research libraries.
>Would journal publishers actually be motivated to publicly place
>even that much data in a free system? We've done some things along
>these lines (various agreements in astrophysics and bio-medicine for
>example) but normally we expect some sort of payment or quid
>pro quo for exchange of our publication database information with
>another party. What's the benefit to publishers here? Would there
>be any benefit for secondaries? And as for the third option - would
>research libraries be up to the tedious data entry tasks (SLAC's SPIRES
>has done this for high energy physics, but I'm not aware of other
>Or is just allowing authors to insert journal publication data sufficient?
> Arthur Smith (
Received on Mon Mar 04 2002 - 20:43:54 GMT

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