For Whom the Gate Tolls?
harnad at cogprints.soton.ac.uk
Sun Dec 31 16:57:50 EST 2000
The following paper is available at:
To be presented at:
Roundtable on Subversive Proposal. American Historical Society. January
4-8 2001 Boston 2001.
10th Australasian Information Online Conference. Sydney
Australia, 13th to 22th January, 2001
For Whom the Gate Tolls?
Freeing the Scholarly and Scientific Research Literature
Online Through Author/Institution Self-Archiving
ABSTRACT: All refereed journals will soon be available
online; most of them already are. This means that anyone
will be able to access them from any networked desk-top.
The literature will all be interconnected by citation,
author, and keyword/subject links, allowing for
unheard-of power and ease of access and navigability.
Successive drafts of pre-refereeing preprints will be
linked to the official refereed draft, as well as to any
subsequent corrections, revisions, updates, comments,
responses, and underlying empirical databases, all
enhancing the self-correctiveness, interactivity and
productivity of scholarly and scientific research and
communication in remarkable new ways. New scientometric
indicators of digital impact are also emerging
<http://opcit.eprints.org> to chart the online course of
knowledge. But there is still one last frontier to cross
before science reaches the optimal and the inevitable:
Just as there is no longer any need for research or
researchers to be constrained by the access-blocking
restrictions of paper distribution, there is no longer
any need for research or researchers to be constrained by
the impact-blocking financial fire-walls of
Subscription/Site-License/Pay-Per-View (S/L/P) tolls for
this give-away literature. Its author/researchers have
always donated these research reports for free (and its
referee/researchers have refereed for free), with the
sole goal of maximizing their impact on subsequent
research (by accessing the eyes and minds of
fellow-researchers, present and future) and hence on
society. Generic (OAi-compliant) software is now
available free so that institutions can immediately
create interoperable Eprint Archives in which their
authors can self-archive all their refereed papers for
free for all forever <http://www.eprints.org/>. These
interoperable Open Archives <http://www.openarchives.org>
will then be harvested into global, jointly searchable
"virtual archives" (e.g., <http://arc.cs.odu.edu/>).
"Scholarly Skywriting" in this PostGutenberg Galaxy will
be dramatically (and measurably) more interactive and
productive, spawning its own new digital metrics of
productivity and impact, allowing for an online
"embryology of knowledge."
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