CogPrints Open Archive Awarded First of 8000 Psychological Science Sites

Stevan Harnad harnad at cogito.ecs.soton.ac.uk
Fri Jan 28 15:46:49 EST 2000


> Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 16:17:52 +0000 (GMT)
> From: Clifford B. Saper <csaper at caregroup.harvard.edu>
> 
>         Clifford B. Saper, MD, PhD
>         James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience
>         Harvard Medical School
>         Chairman, Department of Neurology
>         Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
>         330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 USA
>         Phone: 617-667-2622      Fax: 617-975-5161
> 
> I hope you will also make clear to those on your mailing list that the
> Journal of Comparative Neurology (and most currently published
> journals) will not consider papers for publication that have already
> been published (which posting on a website is).

Dear Professor Saper,

The CogPrints copyright FAQ <http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/help/copyright.html>
does point out that journals differ in their copyright policies; and in
an excerpt below, differences in journal embargo policies ("The
Ingelfinger Rule") are discussed. 

But I must also point out that these policies never had any scientific
justification, and now (in the PostGutenberg era) they no longer have
any economic justification either. And that although Journals like
Science, New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American
Medical Association, still have such policies, they have counterparts,
like Nature, Lancet, and British Medical Journal, that do not. And it
is only a matter of time before good sense -- and good science --
prevails, and these arbitrary access barriers, which exist only to
protect current journal revenue streams (once justified, but now no
longer necessary) will all fade away.

I have written critiques of Floyd Bloom's position (on behalf of
Science) in Science:

    Harnad, S. (1999) Advancing Science By Self-Archiving Refereed
    Research.  Science dEbates [online] 31 July 1999.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/eletters/285/5425/197#EL12

As well as in the American Scientist Forum:

    Harnad, S. (1998) For whom the gate tolls? 
    Free the on-line-only refereed journal literature 
    http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/amlet.html

In D-Lib I describe an interim alternative strategy for authors:

    Harnad, S. (1999) Free at Last: The Future of Peer-Reviewed
    Journals.  D-Lib Magazine 5(12) December 1999
    http://www.dlib.org/dlib/december99/12harnad.html

     "So authors should transfer to their publishers all the rights
     to sell their papers, in paper or online, but they should
     retain the right to self-archive them online for free for all.
     Many publishers will agree (the American Physical Society
     <ftp://aps.org/pub/jrnls/copy_trnsfr.asc> being a model in
     this respect) because their scholarly/scientific goals are in
     harmony with those of their authors and readers. But with
     those publishers whose copyright agreement explicitly forbids
     the public self-archiving of the peer-reviewed final draft,
     the solution is to self-archive the preprint at the time it is
     first submitted for publication, and then once it is accepted,
     simply to archive a list of the changes that went into the
     revised final draft; alternatively, a further revised,
     enhanced draft, going substantively beyond the accepted, final
     draft, with a fuller reference list, Hyperlinks, more data and
     figures added, etc., can be self-archived, together with a
     list of what in this new edition was not in the final accepted
     draft. Either way, the handwriting (or rather the skywriting)
     is on the wall.

     "This gets around copyright restrictions (note that analogies with
     online piracy of text, music and software are irrelevant because
     we are speaking of "self-piracy" here). A further potential
     obstacle is an embargo policy like the one the New England Journal
     of Medicine (see < http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/
     Hypermail/Author.Eprint.Archives/0019.html>) practises under the
     name of the "Ingelfinger Rule" (see
     <http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/
     Author.Eprint.Archives/0020.html>)
     and that journals like Science,
     <http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/eletters/285/5425/197#EL12>,
     likewise practise. I don't think I need to spell out for Web-savvy
     authors how easily arbitrary and self-serving policies like this
     can be gotten around by suitable cosmetic measures on one's
     self-archived preprint. In any case, I doubt that journal editors
     and referees (who, after all, are us), will long collaborate with
     policies that are no longer either justified or necessary, being
     now so clearly designed solely in the interest of protecting
     current S/L/P revenue streams rather than in the interest of
     disseminating research. Besides, journal embargo policies, unlike
     copyright agreements, are not even legal matters."

Regarding alternative economic models for refereed journal publishing,
see, in Nature:

    Harnad, S. (1998) On-Line Journals and Financial Fire-Walls.
    Nature 395(6698): 127-128.
    http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/nature.html

    Harnad, S. (1998g) The invisible hand of peer review. Nature
    [online] ( 5 Nov.  1998)
    http://helix.nature.com/webmatters/invisible/invisible.html
    Longer version:
    http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/nature2.html

The New England Journal of Medicine declined to publish my reply to
Arnold Relman (URL in exceerpt above) but it will shortly appear in a
Law journal.

I invite you to consider the question of embargo policy and exclusive
copyright policy, and if you can think of any non-economic
justification for them, I would be very grateful to hear it.

Sincerely,

Stevan Harnad                     harnad at cogsci.soton.ac.uk
Professor of Cognitive Science    harnad at princeton.edu
Department of Electronics and     phone: +44 23-80 592-582
Computer Science                  fax:   +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton         http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/
Highfield, Southampton            http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/
SO17 1BJ UNITED KINGDOM           

NOTE: A complete archive of this ongoing discussion of "Freeing the
Refereed Journal Literature Through Online Self-Archiving" is
available
at the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99):

http://amsci-forum.amsci.org/archives/september98-forum.html






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