Re: Book on future of STM publishers

From: Fytton Rowland <J.F.Rowland_at_LBORO.AC.UK>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 10:06:28 +0100

This is an interesting point. In some disciplines, there is a tradition of
writing journal articles based on one's PhD research -- some of them perhaps
published before the thesis is written -- while in other fields the practice is
to turn one's thesis into a book. However, the thesis itself, in its original
form as an examination document, is usually made publicly available in the
library of its home university, and is indexed in various secondary services
such as Dissertation Abstracts. If universities in future mostly have OAI-
compliant servers, and theses are submitted in electronic as well as printed
form, there seems to be no obstacle to each university mounting its own theses
on its server for free worldwide access.

But... Stevan often makes the point that his concern is purely with the
scholarly journal literature, which is given away by its authors, and which
should be avialable free of charge to other scholars. He goes on to say that
this argument does not apply to other kinds of publication for which authors
are traditionally paid, which is the case with books, even scholarly books. On
that argument, having to pay 30 Euros for Meier's book is o.k.

Hmm... So, if we are in a discipline that uses journals, free access is o.k.;
free access to the raw thesis is also o.k.; but if the discipline is one that
has the tradition of a book based on the thesis, then free access is not o.k.
What do others think of this line of argument?

Fytton.

Fytton Rowland, Dept of Information Science, Loughborough University, UK.

Quoting Thomas Krichel <krichel_at_OPENLIB.ORG>:

> M. Meier writes
>
> > An exposť is availabel under http://www.ep.uni-muenchen.de/themen.htm.
> The
> > book as a whole will unfortunately not be available online for free.
>
> I understand that the book is Michael's PhD thesis. I think that
> it would be interesting to understand the reasons why it is not
> freely available online. If the FOS movement can not convince scholars
> in scholarly communication to make their work freely available online,
> we do have a problem. I would like to understand what the problem is
> here.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Thomas Krichel
> mailto:krichel_at_openlib.org
>
> http://openlib.org/home/krichel
>
> RePEc:per:1965-06-05:thomas_krichel
>
>
Received on Thu Jul 18 2002 - 10:06:28 BST

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