Citation is Medium-Independent

D Forsdyke forsdyke1 at
Wed Aug 11 20:33:27 EST 1999

Stevan Harnad wrote:

 If my words really are immortal, they
> should be placed in a formal archival serial (whether paper or online
> -- the importance is the formal continuity, which is why they are called
> serials), and that should in turn be reliably archived, and cited the
> usual way, along with its URL.

   The operative work here is "should".  But who are YOU to decide
whether your words are immortal or not? Perhaps someone in Athens in 400
BC idly jotted down E=MC^2 on a clay tablet or papyrus. Perhaps he/she
was aware that it might be important,-- perhaps not. 

    I think people in the 21st century would like to know that this
occurred, but alas few samples or copies of such 400 BC jottings have
survived. Even worse, what if an equivalent modern jotting (on the
internet) were the ONLY form of some immortal insight, since peer-review
had rejected it for location in the formal literature, and the
electronic version got deleted, or, if undeleted, there was no precise
citation key (acceptable to journal editors; URLs won't do) allowing the
author (or others) to cite it in some more trivial (and hence more
likely to be favourably peer-reviewed) work?

Sincerely, Donald Forsdyke. Discussion Leader. Bionet.journals.note

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