[Sigpub-l] Re: [Asis-l] Open Access publishing & ASIST publications: Part II

Michel J. Menou Michel.Menou at wanadoo.fr
Wed Apr 28 13:17:53 EDT 2004

This time replying publicly in cas this could help boosting

Tuesday, April 27, 2004, 11:28:03 PM, Michael Leach wrote:


ML> It was brought to my attention that some potential authors are
ML> steering clear of one of our publications because it is not
ML> available (full-text) online.
Which publication?
I further support Sheila Webber's point that ARIST should be available

ML> As another reply noted, awareness by faculty of the OA movement is
ML> growing, and some faculty/authors are adopting this publishing
ML> model personally.
A bottom line should be non-exclusive licenses

ML>      Now, for a few more points of discussion:

ML> 1. The lack of a large, vivid response to my initial posting can be taken
ML> as a) apathy, b) contentment with the status quo, c) lack of knowledge of
ML> the issues, d) some combination of the above, or e) some variable I
ML> haven't accounted for.  Should there be little response to this posting, I
ML> will consider the issues "dead" and refrain from further
ML> posting/discussion.
I hope the correct answer is a+c+e

ML> 2.  Should we (ASIST--its members) be experimenting with new models of
ML> publishing and scholarly communications, or should we leave it up to some
ML> other group(s) (like the biomed sciences)?  The Directory of Open Access
ML> Journals lists 27 LIS journals worldwide.  There are 216 titles under
ML> "medicine" in this directory.  Granted, there are far, far fewer L/IS
ML> researchers than medical researchers, but information--its creation,
ML> storage, organization & retrieval--is our principle bailiwick.
I feel we should experiment with new models, for ethical and
practical reasons.
This should not put our financial situation at risk (risk being
understood as something that is not likely to find a positive solution
in the medium term, otherwise no risk equals death)

ML>      We do have an OA publication--the Bulletin--but its OA status is more
ML> a secondary consideration to the print publication.  Should we be using
ML> this publication to test electronic publication models?  Where is the
ML> metadata attached to each article?  What about controlled indexing and
ML> search interfaces?  What about layout of online content, alternative
ML> formats (e.g. pdf instead of just the html)?  What are the costs for
ML> publishing each article online?  What will it take to truly archive this
ML> publication?  How does the print counterpart support or detract from the
ML> OA version? Should we add a peer-reviewed section (perhaps just online)
ML> to assess the costs associated with OA publishing? 
I feel it is up to the editor to respond to these questions.
Making the online version of the Bulletin a better OA publication
would be welcome, if affordable.
But I feel that we could consider other publications, e.g. ARIST or
the conference proceedings

ML> Why haven't we lined up researchers in our L/IS schools to examine
ML> these issues over the short and long term, working in conjunction
ML> with the editors, editorial boards, and the Society?
Good question!
May be because in any setting, primarily the publishing industry,
economics has to remain a branch of alchemy, at least for the
Whatever the answer, why don't we just do it now?

ML>      I acknowledge that the above is spirited and even confrontational,
No need to apologize. This is the very basis of science and democracy

ML> but I believe we have the strengths within this Society to tackle these
ML> issues while the OA movement is young--and to have an impact in its (OA)
ML> direction and formation.
Definitely and we should have such role

ML> Personally, I have my doubts about the viability of the OA
ML> publishing model, but without some experimentation, without some
ML> effort at researching the issues, all we have is conjecture.
According to Dr. Puppybreath, Gutenberg himself told him he had doubts
about the viability of the printing press :-)
Looking at what is now happening in the "music industry" it may well
be that the old models are dying.
I don't know either. But as you said earlier, if we are true to our
discipline we should be at the forefront of investigating these issues
and experimenting.


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