Re: Author's final draft and citing

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 17:48:58 -0400

Jean-Claude Guedon thinks that because an article published by Joe
Bloggs in Nature (2008, volume X, Number Y, pp NN-MM) is not OA, and
Joe Bloggs's OA postprint of the final, refereed draft of his Nature
article, self-archived in his Institional Repository (IR), is
unpaginated, hence one cannot specify the location of a quoted passage
in the Nature version except by paragraph number, one should not cite
the Nature version, but the self-archived postprint.

What I ask is: What does it mean to "cite" the postprint of a
published Nature article? I would think you cite the publication, the
Nature article, and give the URL of the postprint for access purposes.
Jean-Claude seems to think the postprint itself should be upgraded
into a "publication" in its own right: How? And what does that mean?
That instead of proudly listing his paper in his CV as having been
published by Nature, a peer-reviewed journal of some repute, Joe
Bloggs should list it as having been published by his own
Institutional Repository? And what does "published" mean under these
circumstances? With Nature, it means Nature conducted a peer review,
to determine whether the article met Nature's quality standards. Is
the author's institution to conduct yet another "peer review" on the
same peer-reviewed article, to determine whether it has met that
institution's quality standards? Why? And would this mean that all
postprints in that IR meet the same quality standards (Nature's)?
Sounds closer to in-house vanity publishing to me, except that it's
more like in-house vanity RE-publishing.

I think this line of thinking is not only unrealistic but incoherent
-- and, most of all, unnecessary, since it is trying to "solve" a
non-existent problem: What work to cite when you have access only to
the OA postprint of a published article? The answer is obvious: You
cite the *published article*, and add the OA postprint's URL to the
citation for those who cannot afford access to the publisher's
proprietary version. (And quote passages by paragraph number.)

Stevan Harnad

On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 4:54 PM, Jean-Claude Guédon
<> wrote:

> Quoting means extracting a passage from a text and inserting it within
> another text one is writing. It is often placed within quotation marks, but
> not always as quoting conventions obey complex and variable rules. Citing
> means giving a reference for a quoted text, or for some facts or opinions
> found in another article, book, etc. This distinction has been dealt with
> repeatedly in the past.
> Even if I follow Stevan's distinction, I need both to quote and cite (in
> Stevan's sense of the words) when I work and I cannot be satisfied with only
> citing. I am not the only to have this need. Consequently, not having access
> to the citable version prevents me from doing all of my work because the
> precise location of what I need remains unknown to me. However, if an IR
> declares that an article under its stewardship is also citable, then, I can
> do all my work, including giving a precise location for a quotation, or a
> fact, or an opinion, etc. This simply means that I recognize the IR as a
> publication instrument, i.e. it makes documents public and not simply as a
> collection of texts open to reading and nothing else. In fact, limiting IR
> texts only to reading would contravene the requirements for something to be
> truly in open access.
> At this junction, the question of which version(s) is (are) reference
> versions emerges. I submit that articles archived in IR's can become
> references as much as the version appearing in a journal.
> There is a well-known precedent for this. Articles are sometimes reprinted
> in a different journal or an anthology. Once this is done, either version
> can be cited and is cited. Sometimes, it is the reprinted version that
> becomes the better known citation.
> Stevan may not like this line of reasoning because it blurs the distinction
> he tries so hard to maintain between journals and IR's. His thesis is that
> IR's and journals can coexist simply because they do not fulfil at all the
> same functions. However, this is Stevan's thesis, not a universally
> accepted situation and it cannot be mistaken for a fact. A more sensible
> representation of reality is to state that the functions of journals and
> IR's, although not identical, overlap. We can then discuss the amount of
> overlap.
> To say this amounts to claim a publishing role for IR's and for
> self-archiving. I claim that role. The fact that IR's can be harvested by
> powerful search engines supports the thesis that depositing an article in an
> IR is a form of publishing. Only if IR's worked like the drawer of my desk
> (which I gladly leave in open access to anyone wanting to access it), could
> we say that it is not a form of publishing. IR's are not shy silos of
> knowledge that just sit there, in open access, but with no way to attract
> attentiuon to themselves. on the contrary, they can be found and used thanks
> to some Google scholar or OAIster.
> The relationship between an article published in a journal and another
> version residing in a repository is quite different from that between an
> original piece of art and a copy. I believe Walter Benjamin has meditated
> significantly on this topic (The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological
> Reproducibility). The article in the repository is not a copy of an original
> article; it is a version of an article. The journal article is also a
> version, another version, and nothing more. The article is identified by its
> title XXXX and its author(s) YYYYY and its content. This is how copyright
> law would identify it. The ways in which a given version is branded depends
> on a number of variables (authors' names, authors' institutions, journal
> titles, etc. ). For the moment, IR's do not yet know very well how to
> brand, but nothing prevents thinking about ways to achieve this result.
> Personally, I believe we should be thinking hard about this precise issue.
Received on Tue Sep 30 2008 - 22:51:12 BST

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