Re: The self-archiving sweepstakes

From: Tom Abeles <>
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 2003 10:52:41 -0600

Hi Steve

I think we are in agreement here.

Perhaps one of the issues is that the open archives concept also exposes all of
these millions of refereed articles to the public at large. Academics might find
that the "Sokal Affair" was benign compared to a potential fire storm in a time
of shrinking public support for post secondary education.

What indeed would happen if the weight of decisions on promotion/tenure and pay
were shifted towards teaching and measures of student satisfaction rather than
peer review? Or articles that did not meet standards in one or more
publications appear vetted by another source- what then?

In essence, while OAI opens research for sharing, its potential to cause
restructuring within The Academy is more than idle speculation or an
intellectual exercise


tom abeles

Stevan Harnad wrote:

> On Fri, 7 Feb 2003, Tom Abeles wrote:
> > Harnad's observation is interesting if the prime reason for publishing
> > were to share with colleagues. Unfortunately this ideal gets distorted by
> > the myriad of reasons to publish or even not to publish, regardless of the
> > disciplines. And, as an aside, the reasons can vary across disciplines,
> > institutions and faculty. Aye, there's the rub.
> Self-archiving is only for what an author elects to publish, not for
> what he elects to conceal. And the motivation for publishing research is
> not to "share" but to maximise the impact of one's research findings
> because, among other things, their impact helps pay one's salary and
> fund one's future research, in this publish-or-perish world:
> > As Harnad points out, the technical achievements may not be the barrier
> > at hand, nor may it be entirely the problems with the publishers.
> It is not at all a problem with publishers. It is simply taking the
> research community a long time to get its head around the fact that in
> the online age removing the obsolete barriers to the impact of their own
> research is entirely in their own hands. They need merely go ahead and
> do it, by self-archiving their own research, pre- and post-peer-review:
> > Perhaps some of the issues come to light when one reads the article,
> > Taking on Rational Man, which appeared in the January 24th issue of The
> > Chronicle of Higher Education where the battle lines are drawn between
> > neoclassical economists and heterodox thinking- and who controls the
> > publishing resources.
> It has nothing -- repeat, nothing -- to do with either publishers or
> economists: It is purely between the research community and itself. The
> only "3rd party" involved is whoever implements the peer review
> and certifies its outcome
> That essential service is currently funded out of journal
> publishers' sales revenue, paid by institutions, but it can easily
> be funded out of the windfall institutional savings -- if and when
> self-archiving ever dries up the demand for journal publishers' other
> products
> But until/unless that ever happens, researchers' only concern should be
> maximising the impact of their research by self-archiving it, today.
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Feb 07 2003 - 16:52:41 GMT

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