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Re: Self-Archiving

Roberto Takata writes:
 > > Many academic disciplines have well-established archives where
 > > researchers can add their postprints, with a bit of useful
 > > metadata, for colleagues in the field to search for and retrieve.
 > > The best-known example is probably arXiv.org, a large physics and
 > > maths e-print archive.
 > >
 > > Is there something similar for vertebrate palaeontology?  And if
 > > not, why not?
 > Once I've proposed something like that here, but it'd gotten a very
 > cold reception.

I think the world is changing.  There is a huge swing towards open
access to research results in many academic fields, and in many
countries.  Unfortunately, I think that VP and the USA are both some
way behind the curve, but changes _are_ coming.

For example, I was very surprised -- and very pleasantly -- by the
statistics at
showing that of the 9861 journals analysed, 64% allow self-archiving
of postprints, and 28% at least allow self-archiving of preprints.
Only 8% of journals would not allow and self-archiving.

The terrifying rate of new posts on the Open Access News blog:
is itself a testimony to how quickly thinfs are changing.  In many
academic disciplines, pretty much all results are freely available to
all researchers from the moment of publication.  This isn't a
pipedream, this is how things are _today_ ... but not in VP.

In other words, I think it's time for us to get optimistic.

David Marjanovic writes:
 > > The best-known example is probably arXiv.org, a large physics and
 > > maths e-print archive.
 > How do they deal with copyright claims by the journals?

I don't know in detail how arXiv does it, but in general it's possible
to get most (not all) journal to allow self-archiving of postprints.
See the romeo.eprints.org link for much more on this.  And don't
forget those few precious journals, like Zoologica Scripta, that don't
demand a transfer of copyright at all.  And of course the likes of
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica which makes all its papers freely
available as a matter of course.

I think it would be great if we could _all_ make an effort to consider
this side of things more when deciding where to submit our work.  I
certainly don't want my papers going into journals where people can't
get them.  In a better world, we'd also find a way to put some
pressure on JVP, it being the flagship publication of our field, to
loosen up some.

By the way, for anyone who's not seen it before, I heartly recommend
Scott Aaronson's review of _The Access Principle_ at
which is mostly an extended rant about how ridiculous the current
academic publishing regime is.

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "Oooh!  Ahhh!  That's how it always starts.  Then later there's
         running and screaming" -- Ian Malcolm in _The Lost World:
         Jurassic Park_