Re: Eprint versions and removals

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PHOENIX.PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 17:39:55 -0400

I do not disagree with Arthur, or with Steven, when they wish to
separate informal prepublication from full publication.

However, many people are not using the servers that way.
This isn't new--in many fields
informal or grey publication has been as far as things ever get.
In practice, material made available that way may or may not count as
technical publication, but it counts in the way that matters:
disseminating material to the public.

We all use whatever information we can get--hopefully we have been taught
enough to judge its reliability on both external and internal characteristics.
That's what graduate education is for. Making
sure the material is there, no matter how it was disseminated, is what
libraries should be for. As Arthur says, this takes the cooperation of the
authors, and the agents the authors use for dissemination, however called.

Dissemination increases entropy, and is therefore irreversible. It takes
work to destroy things. It similarly takes work to keep the disseminated
things organized enough to find them and get at them again.

Dr. David Goodman

Princeton University Library
Palmer School of Library and Information Science, LIU
Received on Wed Jun 11 2003 - 22:39:55 BST

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