Re: Scholarly Publishing Principles J.W.T.Smith 08 Jun 2000 14:53 UTC


Having now read these 'Principles' I must confess to some disappointment.
The aims of this document at laudable - but they are also about as
innovative as cocoa. Ideas of this sort have been discussed and
promulgated for many years but little has changed. As someone once said (I
can't remember who but it was in connection with Artificial Intelligence
research) "You can't get to the moon by climbing taller and taller trees."
Far more radical actions are required to achieve the utopia of freely
available academic publications hinted at by this document. Such actions
have been proposed by people like Stevan Harnad, et al, since the early
1990s. Even I have made minor contributions to this more radical debate
since the mid 1990s. I suggest the ideas in the Open Archives Initiative:


although mainly technical rather than philosophical are likely to have
more effect in the long term than this rather staid set of 'Principles'.


John Smith,
University of Kent at Canterbury, UK.

On Thu, 8 Jun 2000, Fytton Rowland wrote:

> This looks interesting.    Fytton.
> >Date:         Wed, 7 Jun 2000 09:57:27 -0500
> >Sender:       Open Lib/Info Sci Education Forum <JESSE@LISTSERV.UTK.EDU>
> >From:         Susan Searing <searing@ALEXIA.LIS.UIUC.EDU>
> >Subject:      Scholarly Publishing Principles (fwd)
> >
> >Messages to jESSE: [reply, or]
> >         to Moderator: []
> >         to Sender: [take e-mail address from message below]
> >Info on jESSE: []
> >--------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >Not too long ago, this list discussed the cost of LIS journals and what
> >actions, if any, LIS authors should take to counter the rising costs.
> >The "Principles for Emerging Systems of Scholarly Publishing" addresses
> >this issue head-on.
> >
> >The principles are at: <>
> >
> >An article about them in the _Chronicle of Higher Education_ is at:
> ><>
> >[subscriber password required]
> >
> >Extract from the _Chronicle_ story:
> >
> >One of the more controversial recommendations calls on professors to
> >"refrain from submitting their work and assigning
> >copyright to expensive journals when high quality inexpensive publication
> >outlets are available." The framers of the principles
> >know that is asking a lot. "If you're an assistant professor up for tenure
> >and the most prestigious journal is a commercial journal,
> >then that's where you have to publish," lacking an alternative, said the
> >A.A.U.'s Mr. Vaughn.
> >
> >That's why the agreement urges faculty members, universities, and
> >disciplinary societies to experiment with alternatives. Many
> >already are making forays into electronic publishing to offer lower-priced
> >alternatives to the expensive journals. Last May, for
> >example, the chemical society began publishing, in print and on the Web,
> >Organic Letters, a journal intended to compete with
> >Tetrahedron Letters, published by Reed Elsevier. Organic Letters costs
> >$2,438 a year for 26 issues, a third the price of
> >Tetrahedron Letters, a weekly. (See an article from The Chronicle, July 1,
> >1998.)
> >
> >"The control of academic output cannot be in the hands of a few commercial
> >publishers who are seeking to exploit a narrow and profitable market
> >niche," Mr. Webster said.
> >
> >
> >I hope LIS educators are following these developments, which are going to
> >affect the core services and collections of academic libraries.
> >
> >Sue
> **********************************************************
> Fytton Rowland, M.A., Ph.D., F.I.Inf.Sc., Lecturer,
> Deputy Director of Undergraduate Programmes and
> Programme Tutor for Publishing with English,
> Department of Information Science,
> Loughborough University,
> Loughborough, Leics LE11 3TU, UK.
> Phone +44 (0) 1509 223039   Fax +44 (0) 1509 223053
> E-mail:
> **********************************************************