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Re: What is wrong with this picture? (Refereed JournalPublishing) -- Chris Brown-Syed Stephen D. Clark 20 Jun 2000 16:58 UTC

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: What is wrong with this picture? (Refereed
JournalPublishing) -- Stevan Harnad
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 11:51:47 -0400
From: "" <>

Was it Boswell or Johnson who said, "only a fool writes except for
Why do acacemics do it? The pat answer is, "if you write, you get to
your job."

It is fairly easy to track access to items downloaded from a Web server.
Most servers come with usage tracking, and you can always get Analog for
free from Cambridge at

However, mere _usage_ of materials has never been a criterion for P&T
because there has not been a way to measure it until the Web. P&T
committees have not understood that server logs and "splash factor" are
related, perhaps because academics as a tribe have not yet figured out
innards of the Web. If they really understood how the Web works, they
would probably demand some strict guidelines - because it is very easy
manipulate the Web.

Tim Berners-Lee (who invented it), sees the Web as a place to publish
the "draft and highly polished", I think we have a right to be cautious
about using raw access logs for tenure.

Though it is quite easy to earn money from Web publications, (see for advice about click-through revenues), I'm not
sure we should encourage that either.

However, if Web articles meet the test of peer acceptance - by being
somewhere - that should count for something.

It does not follow that someone will _not_ be cited if their work
on the Web.

Sed contra:

"Splash factor" is traditionally measured using citation indexes, and by
listings in abstracting and indexing sources. The assumption that all
worthy articles apear in these sources is flawed.  It sometimes takes a
publisher 2-3 years to get the indexing and abstracting sources to take
a new journal.

I once worked for the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. Several of
major indexes refused to take it on, despite the fact that its editorial
board had on it about 20 PhDs and distinguished urologists and surgeons
with MDs. That was a few years ago, mind you. At the time, one respected
source said that after receiving free issues for 3 years, they would
about it.

LIS authors seem to be particularly vulnerable. How many LIS authors
appear in SSCI? It would make a fascinating study!

       Chris Brown-Syed PhD. Editor, Library & Archival Security.
       <> <>
     Never give up if the objective is worthwhile - Lionel Gregory.