Archive for Papers in Cognitive and Biobehavioral Sciences

Stevan Harnad harnad at phoenix.princeton.edu
Wed Jun 17 03:55:59 EST 1998


To all cognitive and biobehavioral scientists:

You are invited to archive your preprints and reprints in the
CogPrints electronic archive. 

The Archive covers all the Cognitive Sciences:
Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology, Computer Science, Linguistics and Philosophy

CogPrints is completely free for everyone, both authors and readers,
thanks to a subsidy from the Electronic Libraries Programme of the
Joint Information Systems of the United Kingdom and the collaboration
of the NSF-supported Physics Eprint Archive at Los Alamos.

CogPrints has just been opened for public automatic archiving. This
means authors can now deposit their own papers automatically. The first
wave of papers had been invited and hand-archived by CogPrints in order
to set a model of the form and content of CogPrints.

To see the current holdings:

http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/

To archive your own papers automatically:

http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/author.html

All authors are encouraged to archive their papers on their home
servers as well.

For ferther information: admin at coglit.soton.ac.uk

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                BACKGROUND INFORMATION 

(No need to read if you wish to proceed directly to the Archive.)

The objective of CogPrints is to emulate in the cognitive and
biobehavioral sciences the remarkable success of the NSF-subsidised
Physics Eprint Archive at Los Alamos

http://xxx.lanl.gov

The Physics Eprint Archive now makes available, free for all, over half
of the annual physics periodical literature, with its annual growth
strongly suggesting that it will not be long before it becomes the
locus classicus for all of the literature in Physics.

What this means is that anyone in the world with access to the Internet
(and that number too is rising at a breath-taking rate, and already
includes all academics, researchers and students in the West, and an
increasing proportion in the Third World as well) can now search and
retrieve virtually all current work in, for example, High Energy
Physics, much of it retroactive to 1990 when the Physics archive was
founded by Paul Ginsparg, who must certainly be credited by historians
with having launched this revolution in scientific and scholarly
publication (www-admin at xxx.lanl.gov).

Does this mean that learned journals will disappear? Not at all. They
will continue to play their traditional role of validating research
through peer review, but this function will be an "overlay" on the
electronic archives. The literature that is still in the form of
unrefereed preprints and technical reports will be classified as such,
to distinguish it from the refereed literature, which will be tagged
with the imprimatur of the journal that refereed and accepted it for
publication, as it always has been.

It will no longer be necessary for publishers to recover (and research
libraries to pay) the substantial costs of producing and distributing
paper through ever-higher library subscription prices: Instead, it will
be the beneficiaries of the global, unimpeded access to the learned
research literature -- the funders of the research and the employers of
the researcher -- who will cover the much reduced costs of implementing
peer review, editing, and archiving in the electronic medium alone, in
the form of minimal page-charges, in exchange for instant, permanent,
worldwide access to the research literature for all, for free.

If this arrangement strikes you as anomalous, consider that the real
anomaly was that the authors of the scientific and scholarly periodical
research literature, who, unlike trade authors, never got (or expected)
royalties for the sale of their texts -- on the contrary, so important
was it to them that their work should reach all potentially interested
fellow-researchers that they had long been willing to pay for the
printing and mailing of preprints and reprints to those who requested
them -- nevertheless had to consent to have access to their work
restricted to those who paid for it. This Faustian bargain was
unavoidable in the Gutenberg age, because of the need to recover the
high cost of producing and disseminating print on paper, but Paul
Ginsparg has shown the way to launch the entire learned periodical
literature into the PostGutenberg Galaxy, in which scientists and
scholars can publish their work in the form of "skywriting": visible
and available for free to all.

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Stevan Harnad                     harnad at cogsci.soton.ac.uk
Professor of Psychology           harnad at princeton.edu
Director,                         phone: +44 1703 592582
Cognitive Sciences Centre         fax:   +44 1703 594597
     
Department of Psychology          http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/
University of Southampton         http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/
Highfield, Southampton            ftp://ftp.princeton.edu/pub/harnad/
SO17 1BJ UNITED KINGDOM           ftp://cogsci.soton.ac.uk/pub/harnad/

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