Re: Against Conflating OA Self-Archiving With Preservation-Archiving

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 22:09:12 +0100

On Wed, 12 Jul 2006, David Goodman wrote:

> Stevan is right that the responsibility for maintaiing a permanent
> record is the publishers'. Furthermore, if they become unable, it
> is the national libraries; it is one of their intended functions. In
> general, I'd say that both the publishers and the libraries are
> progressing towards a coherent system--details to be discussed else,
> by those more knowledgeable than I.

And nothing whatsoever to do with OA or self-archiving.

> However, the role of repositories should not be ignored: not only
> do they serve as backup, but there are many scientific articles to
> be found nowhere else. Many papers maintained on arXiv are never
> formally published; some authors may not intend to publish further,
> and some may intend, but never actually do it?

The target content of the OA movement and of OA repositories and of OA
mandates is *published journal articles* -- not all the other things
one might conceivably wish to deposit in an IR.

And the immediate, pressing problem (lest we forget it, or get distracted
toward some other problem) is the problem of getting those published
articles deposited -- *not* the problem of getting *other* kinds of deposits

(All IR contents can and will be and are being preserved, by the way: it
is using *preservation* as the rationale for the self-archiving of OA's
target contents -- journal articles (still 85% missing from IRs) that I am
criticizing here.)

> Stevan, are not a good many results --including some of your own
> --to be found in the Soton ECS repository that have not yet been
> published in full--and, if they are merely supporting data, may
> quite appropriately never be?

OA is not about self-archiving (or preserving) unpublished results. It
is about self-archiving published results, so they can be used by those
who can't afford the toll-access version.

> With so many authors not being motivated by the argument of
> self-interest in getting their work more citations, surely we should
> use other arguments as well. It is all too clear that the same
> arguments persuading 15% of the authors may not seem persuasive to
> the other 85%.

The findings on impact enhancement are evidently not yet enough to induce
authors to self-archive; self-archiving mandates will do the trick. But
self-archiving will not be mandated if its rationale is misrepresented
absurdly as being the need to preserve the author's final drafts of their
published articles!

Stevan Harnad
Received on Wed Jul 12 2006 - 23:25:36 BST

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