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RE: Versions

That this problem of versioning is not specific to OA is pretty clear;
many journals (including Cell, Science, and Nature) quite frequently
publish articles on their own Web sites in somewhat "raw" condition, ahead
of those articles being copyedited and proofed, and this is only more
likely to be the case as authors press for quicker and quicker

Even so, no matter what our publishing business model, I think we would
all agree that the version of record is, as Jan says, the final version
published by the publisher, whatever that form may be. For PLoS, as for
BioMed Central and many other publishers, this final version would also be
that deposited by us into PubMed Central. Because there can be an
evolution in the publishing process -- for example, an accepted but
un-copyedited version, a copyedited but uncorrected version, and a
copyedited and corrected version -- we do think those various versions, if
published online, need to clearly indicate if they are something other
than the final version of record -- and we feel that those previous
versions should not be submitted to PubMed Central nor be indexed by
PubMed. But the versioning problem is, of course, something all publishers
must struggle to address.

Rebecca Kennison
Director of Journal Production
Public Library of Science

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Watkinson [mailto:anthony.watkinson@btopenworld.com] 
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2004 6:09 AM
Subject: Re: Versions

Jan has picked up on an ambiguity in what I wrote. In the case of BMC,
because they do not copy edit, there is no difference in the content. At
least I thought that was the case but there is now the tantalising
suggestion of some intervention - "where necessary corrected final

How different is this final version and is that the authentic version and,
if the author has (as urged) deposited the postprint should he or she then
replace it?

I was however not asking Jan about BMC practices but how he viewed the
version problem that impacts on what other publishers do where the
deposited version in an institutional repository (if it is the
will be different from the final published version.

The great majority of other publishers, including PLOS, do copy editing,
not because for some reason they want to add to their costs, but because
that is what their editors and authors appear to want. They say they do.
The editors I work with would probably resign (and even take their
editorial boards with them) if we dropped this service. I have to say
"probably" because have not proposed this but editors and editorial boards
at editorial board meetings seem to equate good copyediting as equivalent
to added value.BMC experience is clearly different otherwise they would
not get editors and authors.

It may seem that I am trying to score points off OA protagonists but I do
think there is a question here which is not actually an OA/anti OA
question. If anyone is interested in problems of authenticity see