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re: Monopolies in publishing: defining quality

I basically agree with JFR. Such publications should have the essential
quality features, but will presumably also require economies in other
directions. Merely discontinuing print is not savings enough. I also
recall that there is still no reliable demonstration whether peer
review--either as currently practiced or in any alternate form--is
effective. Nor is there any work at all, to my knowledge, demonstrating
other than as an opinion what technical features of publication are
necessary. I have fairly definite opinions myself on both subjects, but
they are no more reliable than anyone else's.

On Mon, 21 Jul 2003 J.F.Rowland@lboro.ac.uk wrote:

> While I broadly agree with David, I think his use of the word "informal"
> is unfortunate, as it would imply to many people that the work is not
> peer-reviewed, perhaps not fully and rigorously described or not edited
> for presentational quality.  The small-circulation, highly specialised
> journals that need subsidy are prime candidates for conversion to
> electronic-only form, but it is essential that their quality (both of
> intellectual content and of presentation) is maintained in the process,
> oitherwise they will lose credibility in the eyes of the academic
> comunities (however small) that they serve.
> Fytton Rowland