Archiving vs. Publication FAQ (fwd)

Stevan Harnad harnad at
Sun Jan 30 11:42:06 EST 2000

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 16:34:54 +0000
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad at>
Reply-To: September 1998 American Scientist Forum
Subject: FAQ

On Wed, 20 Feb 1918, Aline PELISSIER wrote:

> Dear Steve,
> I have some problems understanding your message.
> I have to know if this site is an archiving one or a publishing one via
> Internet.

Dear Aline:

There are too many preconceptions in your question. There is not an
"either/or" relation between archiving and publishing (and publishing
has more than one meaning).

    (1) Everything that appears on the Internet (or on paper, for that
    matter, even once), counts legally as "publication." But that, I
    assume, is NOT what you mean by publication here. You mean:

    (2) Journal publication (or what used to be meant by journal
    publication: acceptance by and appearance in a refereed journal).

An online archive is always a site of publication sensu (1), but
that is trivial. Sensu (2), it can be a site of refereed publication:

    (a) if what is archived therein has been accepted for publication
    by a refereed journal or,

    (b) if the archive is itself a refereed journal.

Now I can reply clearly to your question:

CogPrints is NOT a refereed journal. Authors can archive therein both
(i) papers that have NOT appeared in refereed journals (i.e., unrefereed
preprints) and (ii) papers that have appeared (or been accepted by)
refereed journals (i.e., refereed reprints).


By archiving a refereed preprint (i) in CogPrints, one does NOT make
it into a published reprint (ii) sensu (2).

I do, however, also edit two refereed journals (one paper, BBS, and one
online, Psycoloquy), both of which have ONLINE archives too. BBS
(because it still depends on paper journal revenues) archives online
only the unrefereed version of refereed, accepted papers; Psycoloquy,
being online-only and free (subsidized by the American Psychological
Association) archives the final published version of all articles it


> And what about the reviews?

By reviews do you mean journals? Vide supra.

Do you mean what do the journals say about authors self-archiving
papers that they have accepted? That depends on individual journal
copyright policy. About that topic, see the archive of the ongoing
discussion of

     "Freeing the Refereed Journal Literature Through Online
     Self-Archiving" at the American Scientist September Forum (98 &

Open Archives like CogPrints are NOT intended as a substitute for
refereed journals. However, they will probably drive refereed journals
into downsizing so they are no longer selling a PRODUCT (the refereed
article, whether paper or online) to the reader-institution, but a
SERVICE (refereeing and certification) to the author-institution. The
price will be paid out of institutional savings from the cancellation
of all annual journal subscriptions.

> I'am completely lost.....My dear collegues too!!!!

> Thank you so much...
> See you soon.
> Aline

I hope this helps. But as I cannot repeat this in real-time every time
anyone emails me, may I ask that you advise colleagues at least to read
my latest paper on the topic, and the references cited therein?

    Harnad, S. (1999) Free at Last: The Future of Peer-Reviewed
    Journals.  D-Lib Magazine 5(12) December 1999

The world is large, and I am only one, and small, and I have said this
all before...

Best wishes, Stevan

Stevan Harnad                     harnad at
Professor of Cognitive Science    harnad at
Department of Electronics and     phone: +44 23-80 592-582
Computer Science                  fax:   +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton  

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