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RE: Why Cornell's Institutional Repository Is Near-Empty
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- Subject: RE: Why Cornell's Institutional Repository Is Near-Empty
- From: Phil Davis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 18:25:16 EDT
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Rick Anderson wrote:
For what it's worth, here's my evidence-based prediction: if and when an entire journal's content is made publicly available at no charge and with no embargo, only a fool will continue to pay for a subscription to it.I probably won't be the first to bring up examples from astrophysics and other disciplines that are fully (or nearly completely) represented in the arXiv. Their continued existence poses a conundrum if we view the journal solely as a vehicle for disseminating research findings. All articles can find a journal that will publish them.
The most valuable function of the journal is in the evaluation and reward system. Journals, by their degree of selectivity and exclusion, concentrate high-quality articles in a small number of publications, and signal to the readers what is important and should be attended to. As authors give away freely their work to be published, there is a transfer of prestige back to the author. The more selective the journal, the more prestige is transferred in return.
Like a parasite that must keep its host alive, repositories are dependent upon the evaluation system of the journal. Kill the host, and self-archiving becomes meaningless. Coexistence is possible, but we should not view this relationship as a peaceful coexistence. It is a parasitic relationship.
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