Re: Self-Archiving vs. Self-Publishing FAQ)

From: Rick Anderson <>
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 00:24:35 +0000

> Rick here is making the most fundamental errors of fact, reasoning and
> strategy in this area, and he is making them blithely and insouciantly
> (as so many others do too!) without so much as an inkling that this
> just might call for a deeper and more rigorous reflection and greater
> informedness than he has seen fit to accord it.

I see two fundamental problems with Stevan's response: one concerns
substance, and the other concerns style. I will try to be sober rather
than blithe, and, er, souciant rather than insouciant in my treatment of
both. (Dang, I may have failed already.)

1. Let's talk about "fundamental errors of fact." Not to belabor what
Stevan calls a "monumentally trivial" point, but the documents he cites
simply demonstrate that the OA establishment has adopted a definition of
the word "publish" that is both absurdly narrow and professionally
egocentric when applied in the real world. According to those documents
(and many others like them), it means "to place an article in a
peer-reviewed scientific journal." To those outside the inner circle of
the OA priesthood, the word has a much broader, more generally accepted,
and really more accurate definition: "to make an article publicly
available." (I invite anyone who feels that this proposition is
uninformed or reflects a lack of rigorous reflection to look the word up
in a dictionary.) The point of my previous posting was to suggest that
when those people -- the politicians, librarians, etc. whom Stevan
castigates -- use the word "publishing" to describe what happens when an
author makes his work freely available to the public through an OA
archive, they are using it correctly, and should be spared the wrath of
those who wish they'd adopt the OA establishment's more idiosyncratic
and less accurate definition.

2. Stevan, I debated whether I should address the style of your message
in a private communication, but since you have now publicly and
lengthily accused me of gross intellectual negligence I feel that I need
to respond publicly, if (slightly) more briefly: I suggest you settle
down. The intemperate and inflammatory language in your response is
unbecoming of you as a scientist, and has more to do with intellectual
bullying than with rigorous argument. I can bear up under it alright,
but I'm afraid that others, when they see the high price that must be
paid for disagreeing with you (even on issues that you consider
"monumentally trivial"), will be discouraged from participating in this
discussion, and the discussion will be impoverished as a result.

That's all I'll say in this forum on that second topic. Stevan can feel
free to make a public rejoinder, but if I feel the need to respond
thereafter I'll do so privately.

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
Univ. of Nevada, Reno Libraries
(775) 784-6500 x273
Received on Sat Nov 13 2004 - 00:24:35 GMT

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