E-biomed and Scholar's Forum

D. R. Forsdyke forsdyke at post.queensu.ca
Thu Jun 10 18:47:08 EST 1999


Stevan Harnad wrote:

> Both the E-biomed and the Scholar's Forum initiatives
> 
> http://www.nih.gov/welcome/director/ebiomed/ebiomed.htm
> http://library.caltech.edu/publications/ScholarsForum/
> 
> are extremely timely, important and welcome, and will speed us along
> the way toward this revolutionary new research resource. They do have a
> few minor, though easily correctable weaknesses, however. Both are
> vague about whether the Archives are meant to be (1) journals, (2)
> competing with journals, or (3) collaborating with journals. The answer
> is that they are and should be none of these (although eventually
> collaboration will be possible): Archives are archives, a reliable,
> permanent place where all authors can self-archive their journal
> articles on-line for free for all.

The key here is "permanent". Files can be deleted and interfered with.
Could you spell out what you mean by permanent?

> vanish, and the only function left for the journals to perform will be
> quality control and certification.

     You might point out two kinds of certification...one for potential
readers who are unable for themselves to sort out the "good" stuff...one
to help those who judge the authors as meriting appointment, tenure,
promotion and research funding. In the former case, I think better
search-engines (see latest Scientific American) and a new class of
professional sifters/reviewers) reporting directly to the internet, will
replace journals. In the latter case, merit assessors ("peers") will
really have to do their homework...read the author's application, not
just skim through his/her publications and tick off how many are in
Nature or Cell. (see http://post.queensu.ca/~forsdyke/peerrev.htm).  

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



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