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RE: Monopolies in publishing

Jan, you might be over-simplifying a little when you say that the best
"guarantee [of] optimal dissemination [is] via open access." Certainly the
physical availability is one part of effective dissemination.

But so is knowledge of the existence of the article, and knowledge that
the article is likely to be worth reading. Most people do look through at
least one or two key journals, and an article on their subject in such a
journal will come to their effective notice.  (Certainly there are other
ways, but in practice that's the current awareness method most of us do
use. And that it's worth reading is partly known through the certification
of the journal's name.  (Again, there are other methods. I am told that
physicists sometimes simply look for familiar author names in the
appropriate section of ArXiv, for example.) This doesn't only apply to
journals: the best way to get me to read something is to post it on this
list--not just any list.  I could search Google every day or so for
familiar names, too (but I don't--partly because I want to see the

So besides open access, the other parts are widespread practical
awareness, and quality. When projects such as yours achieve them, they
will have succeeeded. You know that I hope it will be very soon.

Dr. David Goodman
Princeton University Library
Palmer School of Library & Information Science, Long Island University