Re: The RePEc (Economics) Model

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 16:18:36 +0000

On Wed, 19 Mar 2003, Thomas Krichel wrote:

> >tc> You constantly belittle technical problems, and then you wonder
> >tc> why the archives are staying empty or do not exist. Answer: because
> >tc> these "technical problems" have not been solved. By belittling
> >tc> them, you put yourself in the way of finding a solution.
>tc> I did not express myself well I wrote, I meant to say
>tc> that much of what Stevan belittles as "technical" is
>tc> in fact symptomatic of wider social issues that
>tc> impact on the academic self-documentation process.

The Big Koan is: "Why aren't all researchers self-archiving yet, given
its benefits and feasibility?"

Many people have hypotheses about what is the answer to the Big Koan.
26 Hypotheses are listed in:
and there are more. Thomas seems to think it may be because of certain
technical problems. I think not. But we agree that one good bet might be
that it's because the research community is not aware of the existence
or size of the access-->impact causal connection, and that this needs
to be decisively demonstrated to them.

>tc> You have
>tc> to give academics the motivation to participate. A
>tc> reliance on carrot and stick from central administration
>tc> is not likely to be sufficient.

Demonstrating the size of the access-->impact connection (and
how to maximize it, through self-archiving) *is* both a carrot
and a stick: The carrot is the rewards of maximizing research
impact (salary, promotion, tenure, research funding, prizes, prestige)
and the stick is the usual publish-or-perish consequences of *not*
maximizing research impact:

>tc> it depends
>tc> on the discipline. Some will get to self-archive slowly
>tc> some fast, some not at all. I can surly imagine a situation
>tc> where for legal scholarship you have to pay, but where
>tc> physics is free.

The only relevant interdisciplinary difference (once the access-->impact
connection is demonstrated and known) is if there are any disciplines that
do *not* benefit from maximizing research impact: Is legal scholarship
an exception, for some reason? (I don't mean all kinds of legal writing,
of course, but, as always, only papers published in that discipline's
refereed research journals.)

Stevan Harnad
Received on Wed Mar 19 2003 - 16:18:36 GMT

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