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[Fwd: The future of PubScience??]

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Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html

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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 09:55:00 +0100
From: Barry Mahon <mahons1@EIRCOM.NET>
Subject: Re: The future of PubScience??
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16/08/2002 21:46:22, "McGinty, Jim" <jmcginty@CSA.com> wrote:

PubScience also duplicated much of CSA .I would like to see the small journal
publisher in PubScience that is not covered in in CSA , Ovid , ISI , Science Direct
, Wilson , the list goes on .  The day it came to being almost three years it was in
direct competition many A@I services. Barry. Give me a call and I can brief you
on why more 18 for profit and not for profit companies were so against the
pubscience initiative .

Apropos, an input from Stevan Harnad on this subject.

Date:    Mon, 26 Aug 2002 17:30:19 +0100
From:    Stevan Harnad <harnad@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: Momentum for Eprint Archiving

On Sun, 25 Aug 2002, Richard Stallman wrote:

I saw your note about supporting PubSCIENCE; if the situation is what I think it is,
I wonder if supporting PubSCIENCE is really going far enough.
>From what I can see, PubSCIENCE is just an index--it does not contain the
papers themselves.  To read them, you must subscribe to some journal's site.
(Please correct me if I am wrong.
Contrast that with the arXiv site, which contains (for the fields it covers) the actual
text of papers, openly accessible to all.  That is what scholars really should have.
In fields covered by the arXiv, I don't see how PubSCIENCE does any good. Why
not use the arXiv instead?  In other fields, while PubSCIENCE is better than
nothing, what people really need is something like the arXiv.
What do you think of this point?  Is there some important factor I am missing?

Far from missing the point, Richard Stallman has put his finger right on the heart
of the matter:

(1) Another gateway pointing to paid access to full-text research is not really what
is urgently needed at this time. What is needed is open access to those full texts
(20,000 peer-reviewed journals-worth, across all disciplines, 2 million new articles
per year).

(2) The Physics Eprint Archive, (http://arxiv.org) -- in which any physicist worldwide
can self-archive his preprints and postprints -- already provides open access to a
growing portion of this full-text literature in many branches of physics.

(3) What is needed is more Eprint Archives so that researchers in all disciplines
can self-archive their research -- all annual 2 million papers.

(4) The Physics Eprint Archive is growing, but not fast enough. At the unchanging
linear rate at which it has been growing for 10 years, it  will be another 10 years
before all annual physics research is being self-archived therein.

(5) My own hunch as to why centralized, discipline-based self-archiving is not
growing faster is that the discipline as a whole is the wrong entity for motivating
and sustaining self-archiving and open access across disciplines and around the

(6) The entity sharing the same interests in open access as the researcher
visibility, accessibility, uptake, citations, research impact, and the further funding,
prestige and rewards that they bring) is the researcher's institution, not the
researcher's discipline.

(7) What is needed is distributed, institution-based Eprints Archives integrated
and made interoperable by compliance with the Open Archives Initiative OAI
Meta-data harvesting protocol
http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/guidelines.htm along the lines described in
SPARC's recent position paper http://www.arl.org/sparc/IR/ir.html

(8) That is why Southampton University has created the eprints.org software for
generating immediate OAI-compliant institutional Eprint Archives (available free
to all institutions under Richard Stallman's GNU license)

(9) That is also why Tim Brody created citebase, the scientometric OAI search
engine for citation-linking, navigating, ranking and analyzing the open access
literature on the basis of classical and novel online measures of research impact:

(10) And that is also the basis of the Budapest Open Access Initiative's Strategy
1 (self-archiving) http://www.soros.org/openaccess/read.shtml
and the many concurrent efforts ongoing worldwide at this very moment in order to
facilitate and promote universal self-archiving:

Stevan Harnad


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