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Re: A Role for SPARC in Freeing the Refereed Literature -- Rick Anderson Stephen D. Clark 20 Jun 2000 13:38 UTC

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: A Role for SPARC in Freeing the Refereed Literature --
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 08:46:47 -0400
From: Rick Anderson <Rick_Anderson@UNCG.EDU>

> So do I. The enemy is not publishers, but Gutenberg: the old
> papyrocentric way of doing and thinking of things. That is
> what put the give-away refereed journal corpus into the
> anomalous position it has always been in (with
> journal-article authors, unlike all other authors, wishing
> to give their papers away, not sell them).

It seems to me that the reasons academic writers wish to
give their papers away has little or nothing to do with
"papyrocentrism."  It has to do, rather, with two things:
the pursuit of tenure (for which refereed publication is
usually required) and, more importantly, the fact that
academic writers get paid to write on the job.  Of course
they don't worry about selling their articles -- they've
already been paid to write them!

> The
> PostGutenberg era of public self-archiving of refereed
> research can now put an end to all of that, and we will all
> be better off for it -- and publishers will have a
> permanent, sustainable niche (Quality-Control/Certification,
> QC/C), performing an indispensable function, for which they
> will be fairly paid (out of the huge annual savings from
> freeing this give-away literature at last).

If I were a publisher reading the above, there would be
alarm bells going off in my head -- whenever someone
promises me that I'll be "fairly paid," I know I'm about to
get screwed.  So here's the question: by what specific
mechanism will libraries' annual savings result in fair pay
for publishers?  (I'm not saying it can't happen; I'm just
saying we shouldn't assume it will happen automatically.)

Rick Anderson
Head Acquisitions Librarian
Jackson Library
UNC Greensboro
(336) 334-5281

"If you enjoy, you understand;
if you understand, you enjoy...
To like a football game is to
understand it in the football way."
       -- Gertrude Stein