For Whom the Gate Tolls?

Stevan Harnad harnad at
Sun Dec 31 16:57:50 EST 2000

The following paper is available at:

Comments welcome.

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

          Stevan Harnad
          Southampton University

	      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
	      <> 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 <>. These
	      interoperable Open Archives <>
	      will then be harvested into global, jointly searchable
	      "virtual archives" (e.g., <>).
	      "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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