12.0118 e-publication

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Tue, 7 Jul 1998 15:52:43 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 118.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Michael Arnush <marnush@scott.skidmore.edu> (44)
Subject: [electronic publication]

[The following taken from correspondence of the advisory board of Stoa,
<http://www.stoa.org/>, quoting an item in the Chronicle of Higher
Education (U.S.). Further comments below.]


A small group of influential academics is pushing to introduce online
peer review and publishing of scholarly works, as an alternative source of
information to high-price journals. Some journals, particularly in
science and technology, can cost as much as $15,000 a year. The group,
which includes academic officers from the University of Rochester,
Columbia University and the California Institute of Technology, wants
professors to publish online rather than in print, and wants universities
to recognize online posting as "publishing" for the purposes of career
advancement decisions. "We are calling for neither a lessening of the
importance of research in the criteria for promotion and tenure, nor a
turning away from peer review," says a paper produced by the Association
of American Universities and the Association of Research Libraries.. "What
we seek is an alternate means of achieving those ends." Under the
proposed plan the papers, once posted online, would be peer-reviewed by a
panel of experts, just as is now the case with print-published papers. The
panels, which would be established by scholarly groups, would give each
article a grade or a stamp of approval. The response so far from some
disciplinary groups has been lukewarm.

(Chronicle of Higher Education 26 Jun 98)

[Perhaps if these lukewarm disciplinary groups were to have a grasp of
the financial impediments to scholarship in some parts of the world, both
compassion and self-interest would heat them up. The loss of human talent,
missing because neither individuals nor their libraries can afford the
publications on paper, we simply cannot afford. Or so it seems to me.
Comments welcome. Yours from the ALLC/ACH in Debrecen, Hungary, WM]

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