Re: Garfield: "Acknowledged Self-Archiving is Not Prior Publication" -- Stevan Harnad Stephen Clark 13 Sep 2002 12:29 UTC

-------- Original Message --------
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 23:51:14 +0100 (BST)
From: Stevan Harnad <>
Subject: Re: Garfield: "Acknowledged Self-Archiving is Not Prior

A rare opportunity to agree 100% with everything Albert writes!

On Thu, 12 Sep 2002, Albert Henderson wrote:

 >         [Refereed-journal] Publishers recruit and train editors.


 >         Publishers may also support editors' office, meeting,
 >         and travel expenses.

True (though in the online age, the office is becoming ever more virtual
and the travel supererogatory...).

 >         Editors recruit referees, solicit their
 >         advice and evaluate their reports.


 >         No automated server can ever replace editors,
 >         publishers, and their active approach to
 >         critical prepublication review.

True. But online processing and archiving can (and does) cut costs

 >         It is far more likely that the availability
 >         of preprints will become another excuse for
 >         backoffice budget misers to force the
 >         cancellation of more subscriptions.

True. But fortunately, there will be plenty of institutional windfall
access-toll savings out of which to pay the remaining essential costs --
much reduced, but non-zero -- in the open-online-access era. Instead of
being paid by institutional backoffice misers the old way, in the form
of access-tolls for buying in INCOMING research from other institutions,
as they were in the on-paper era, they will be paid by institutional
backoffice misers the new-online-age way, as peer-review and certification
costs, per paper, for quality-controlling and certifying OUTGOING
institutional research. The peer-review service and certification will
continue to be provided by the journal publishers (and paid for), whereas
the archiving will be done by the distributed, interoperable institutional
archives. The far lower overall cost to everyone in the open-access era
will also produce far higher potential visibility, usage, and impact
for the research, with commensurate gains in research productivity,
progress, prestige and funding for the researchers and their institutions.

Albert is quite right about all of this.

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02):

Discussion can be posted to:

See also the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

the Free Online Scholarship Movement:

and the SPARC position paper on institutional repositories: