[UPS] Story in the Dec. 3 Chronicle

Stevan Harnad harnad@coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk
Wed, 1 Dec 1999 09:35:04 +0000 (GMT)

> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 20:14:30 -0700
> From: Paul Ginsparg <ginsparg@qfwfq.lanl.gov>
> To: ups@vole.lanl.gov
> Subject: Re: [UPS] Story in the Dec. 3 Chronicle
> ** in any further communications to reporters (at your or their
> solicitation), e-mail messages to mailing lists, meetings with
> representatives of library or other societies in which Open Achives
> come up, or in offers of vapor/software, make it explicitly clear that
> you are speaking as an interested party, but certainly not as an
> organizer of this particular initiative; and that you are speaking and
> acting on your own behalf, not on behalf of this group. (there's no
> wiggle room here, don't even try -- instead just use something like
> "DISCLAIMER: In this mention of the "Open Archives" initiative, I am
> speaking, writing, and acting entirely on my own behalf, not on behalf
> of the organizers or current members of this initiative.")

See below:

    Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 19:31:37 +0000
    From: Stevan Harnad <harnad@coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk>
    Subject: Report on Santa Fe Initiative (Interoperable Eprint Archives)
    CC: VPIEJ-L@LISTSERV.VT.EDU, Lib Serials list, serialst,elib,
    Bc: ~400 further recipients (publishers, librarians, editors, press)

    The following is the official press release describing the proceedings
    of the UPS Initiative's very important meeting last week in Santa Fe.

    It is followed at the very end by some unofficial addenda by me,
    particularly about how the newly agreed upon Santa Fe standards will be
    applied to new, generic archiving software that will be created here at
    Southampton in the next 6 months and will then be given away free to
    all universities worldwide who wish to establish Eprint Archives for
    the research papers of all their Faculty, with sectors devoted to each
    of their academic disciplines.


    First meeting of the Universal Preprint Service Initiative
    UPS Initiative: Paul Ginsparg, Rick Luce, Herbert Van de Sompel

    etc. [continues with official press release, followed by addenda]

> this article yet another sad example of slanted reporting and multiple
> factual errors -- first and most glaring, it identifies Stevan Harnad
> as "an organizer" of this particular initiative, most assuredly false,
> and potentially problematic for us (see below).

See below. 

    On Mon, 29 Nov 1999, Vincent Kiernan wrote:
    Dr. Harnad,
    I'd be interested in your comments on my story and on this note from
    Paul Ginsparg.
    Vince Kiernan
    Chronicle of Higher Education
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Paul Ginsparg <ginsparg@qfwfq.lanl.gov>
    To: kiernan@nasw.org <kiernan@nasw.org>
    Date: Monday, November 29, 1999 12:27 PM
    Subject: Re: Interoperable eprint archives
    never heard back from you, someone forwarded me your article.
    it contains numerous errors (for example harnad is not an organizer of
    the open archives, and i wish to publicly disavow many things he says
    in their name). how do i get this in print to your same readership?
    tks, pg
    From: Stevan Harnad harnad@coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk
    To: Vincent Kiernan <kiernan@nasw.org>
    cc: Paul Ginsparg EJ <ginsparg@qfwfq.lanl.gov>
    Subject: Errors in Chronicle of 
    Higher Education article about Open Archives
    Dear Vince Kiernan,
    Paul Ginsparg is quite right; I don't know where you got that I was an
    organizer of Open Archives. I was merely one of the participants and we
    are designing archive software compliant with the Santa Fe agreement.
    You have to distinguish open archive-compliant software from the Open
    Archive Initiative itself.
    It is also true that the Santa Fe participants all agreed on some
    points and not on others, whereas the article puts it all together as
    if individuals' views were collective views.
    It would help if the text of such stories were fact-checked
    in advance. There are parts of the story that don't make sense
    and don't agree with other parts of it. If you had let me see it
    I could have told you what was incorrect and it could have been
    Stevan Harnad
    Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 14:40:26 -0500
    From: Vincent Kiernan <kiernan@nasw.org>
    To: Stevan Harnad <harnad@coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk>
    Cc: Doug Lederman <doug.lederman@chronicle.com>
    Subject: Re: Errors in Chronicle of 
             Higher Education article about Open Archives
    Thanks for the feedback. I regret the error and expect that we will be
    publishing a correction.
> kiernan concedes that while stevan did not explicitly claim to be an
> organizer, he did "send out the UPS press release to several (?) Chron
> staff members by e-mail, in a fashion in which he seemed to be acting
> on behalf of the initiative." 

See above.

> sigh ... we all know it's a thrill to see
> one's name in print, but doesn't it get old after a while? does
> actively soliciting another silly chronicle article really further any
> near-term technical objectives?

Press release circulated Oct 29, as above, and then Kiernan contacted me
(and you, and Herb, as you know) about an article he said he was

> someone also forwarded me from the times higher ed supp 12 nov 1999:
> "Harnad, who attended the Santa Fe meeting, said all conference
> participants agreed that scientific and scholarly publishing was being
> 'held hostage' and needed to be freed. 'They all felt ... . Most
> wanted...'" i don't remember anyone saying anything about hostages
> (though i did miss the end of the first day) -- isn't it demagoguery to
> impute words and sentiments?

Full context below (part of October 29 unofficial addendum referred to
above). I invite corrections on my summary of what the all/most/some 
sentiments were:

    The Santa Fe participants were diverse in their underlying
    motivations, but entirely unified in their objective of paving the
    way for universal public archiving of the scientific and scholarly
    research literature on the Web. All agreed that this literature is
    currently being held hostage and needs to be freed. All wanted to
    free it from (1) the access barriers of the paper medium; most
    wanted also to free it from (2) the access barriers of journal
    subscription prices; some wanted to go on and free it also from (3)
    the access barriers of journal peer review. But the necessary
    condition for any of these is an interoperable digital literature;
    the Santa Fe protocol should go a long way toward bringing that to

    For my own part, I am a confirmed advocate of (1) and (2) and an
    equally confirmed opponent of (3), but there was no difficulty
    making common cause with all the parties on interoperability. My
    own CogPrints archive will now be rewritten according to the agreed
    upon Santa Fe conventions in such a way as to turn it into generic
    archive software, ready to be mounted by any university so all its
    researchers in each of its departments can publicly archive all
    their papers.

> (many
> intelligent people believe it or not can be alienated rather than
> persuaded by excessive repetition, even of ultimately correct
> arguments)
> the best forum moderator is essentially invisible

This may be true. If so, I have been making a strategic error. But
I've never sent a message anything like the one I'm replying to now.

> i apologize for using this list for this communication

That is one sentiment we share.

And let me declare an interest: It is indeed in freeing the
refereed journal literature. But let me disavow the one being
imputed to me here: it is not to see my name in print, nor to
be seen as the organizer of the Open Archive Initiative.

Stevan Harnad                     harnad@cogsci.soton.ac.uk
Professor of Cognitive Science    harnad@princeton.edu
Department of Electronics and     phone: +44 23-80 592-582
Computer Science                  fax:   +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton         http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/
Highfield, Southampton            http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/