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Humanist Archives: April 13, 2020, 8:10 a.m. Humanist 33.757 - on using academia.edu

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 757.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2020-04-10 08:43:13+00:00
        From: Gabriel Egan 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.751: on using academia.edu, continued


My views on the moral imperatives of academic publishing
are so out of line with those of a number of (thankfully not
all) the contributors to this thread that I'll confine
my response to something I think factually incorrect about
the opposing view.

Norman Gray thinks that personal websites are less effective at
the "long-term curation" of our writings than services
like Academia.edu are. Personal websites that are entirely
free and open are archived by the Internet Archive. I just
checked and their Wayback Machine has 115 snapshots of my
personal website  taken between now and
2003 when I first created the site. I browsed these snapshots
and, yep, all my writing is there.

By contrast, commercial websites that erect paywalls
between authors and readers, like Academia.edu, thereby
keep themselves out of the Wayback Machine. Academia.edu
could fold at any moment, joining the long-list of formerly
powerful walled-garden commercial sites including Friendster,
MySpace, Geocities, and others, that died taking their
users' content with them.

Obviously, the Internet Archive could also die and take its
contents with it. But its governance and its contingency
planning make that vanishingly less likely than it is
with commercial services, not least because of its
active role in the International Internet Preservation
Consortium. The Internet Archive cares about curation.
Academia.edu cares about maximizing profit. Who'd you
rather give your stuff to?


Gabriel Egan

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