Immediate free Web access at a fair price

Stevan Harnad harnad at cogito.ecs.soton.ac.uk
Fri May 5 10:52:49 EST 2000


On Fri, 5 May 2000, Thomas J. Walker wrote:

> Here is an item from the April 2000 Newsletter of the Entomological Society
> of America (ESA) at http://www.entsoc.org/newsletter/2000/current/.
> 
> ELECTRONIC REPRINTS OFFER MORE FOR LESS!
> 
> ESA now offers authors an unlimited supply of electronic reprints
> (e-prints) of their articles for 25% less than the price of 100 paper
> reprints. Authors who purchase e-prints can increase their article's
> readership by giving readers immediate free Web access to the article.

I hate to be a killjoy, but announcements like this cannot go unanswered:

Authors can have exactly the same benefit for free by simply
self-archiving their refereed, final drafts online in an Open Archive.

http://www.openarchives.org/
http://www.eprints.org/

> Although the item says "perhaps" I believe that ESA is the first and still
> the only journal publisher that facilitates immediate, totally free Web
> access to articles for which the authors have paid a fair price for the
> service.

Open self-archiving requires no "facilitating." And NO price is fair
for something one can have for free. The APS (American Physical Society)
already "facilitates" self-archiving simply by explicitly ALLOWING it;
and the 128,000 self-archived papers in arXiv.org to date attest to its
timeliness and utility:

http://arXiv.org/cgi-bin/show_monthly_submissions
http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/help/copyright.html
ftp://aps.org/pub/jrnls/copy_trnsfr.asc

Once self-archiving is explicitly allowed, all considerations of
fairness are taken care of, and THEN the service of providing
journal-supplied "official" eprints can compete fairly with
author-supplied home-brew.

Until then, however, there already exist completely legal ways of
self-archiving refereed papers even in the face of copyright agreements
designed to try to prevent it. So there is no reason not to self-archive
right now (and there has not been, ever since the early 90's):

http://www.dlib.org/dlib/december99/12harnad.html
http://www.arl.org/scomm/subversive/toc.html
http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Papers/Harnad/harnad00.scinejm.htm

--------------------------------------------------------------------
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 providing free
access to the refereed journal literature is available at the American
Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00):

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

You may join the list at the site above.

Discussion can be posted to:

    september98-forum at amsci-forum.amsci.org 






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