Re: Publishing Reform, University Self-Publishing and Open Access

From: Alma Swan <a.swan_at_TALK21.COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 16:10:34 -0000

Jean-Claude Guedon wrote:

> The problem with Stevan Harnad's phraseology is that he uses
> the word "publish" in a very constrained and artificial
> manner. Publishing means "making public". ......
> What Stevan harnad denies is that when one "publishes" an
> article in a peer-reviewed journal, the "publishing" function
> is not thereby completely exhausted. More publishing can add
> to the first, such as self-archiving (or re-issuing in a
> different context, or with a different medium, etc...).
> Declaring self-archiving "OA-provision" while refusing the
> word "publish" begs the question, is idiosyncratic, and is
> ultimately inaccurate. Providing OA beside the traditional
> means of publishing is not of such an order as to be
> incommensurate with publishing; it is simply another form of
> publishing added to a more familiar form. OA-provision is publishing!
> Why does Stevan Harnad insist so much on this artificial distinction?
> IMHO, it is mainly for polemical reasons.

Or perhaps it is to try to retain some clarity in a situation that has huge
potential for confusion.

Perhaps Stevan also finds, as I do when out in the author community
discussing open access, that for every 3 authors who understand the
distinction between publishing their work as usual and indulging in open
access archiving, there are 97 who do not. Those 97 instinctively cry 'But I
need to publish my work in journals'.

The word 'publish', despite the OED's estimable definition, has a specific
meaning to scholarly authors, as Jean-Claude must appreciate. To them it
means getting their research articles in journals (gold or not) or books.
Using the word for any additional activities confuses and confounds, and
plays to the fears of authors rather than providing clarification and
encouragement to engage in the new communication methods available to them.

Alma Swan
Key Perspectives Ltd
Truro, UK
Received on Thu Jan 19 2006 - 16:30:10 GMT

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