Self-archiving has long been possible

forsdyke forsdyke at
Wed Aug 11 13:30:02 EST 1999

Stevan Harnad wrote:

> There is no reason whatsoever why AUTHORS should sit back and wait to
> self-archive until journals and their editors first see fit to plan a

     To "self archive" you need (i) a secure archive, (ii) a citation
key which will allow you and others to cite and access. The first has
long been in existence. The whole internet is one big archive. If you
have a document, you have long been free to "post" it at numerous sites,
which themselves form archives (e.g. bionet.journals.note). Here it can
be dated, and by sending it to multiple archives you make it less likely
that it will be deleted and lost for all time. The problem comes when
you want to cite it. Clearly you do not want to have to cite all the
sites where it is deposited (and an editor of a paper journal would not
permit it). Furthermore, there is no unanimous agreement on how, say,
bionet.journals.note should be cited. I have suggested following the
existing way journals are cited in the paper literature. Thus:

Harnad, S. (1999) Bionet.journal. note 0811, 1253. The forgotten
importance of editors. 

In this case, the "volume" is the month and day, and the page is the
hour and min, of the initial deposit into the site. Surely, someone
setting up newsgroup software could arrange this in the heading of
electronic contributions?

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

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