Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Not waiting for PDFs

Stevan Harnad, Too Much Ado About PDF, Open Access Archivangelism, September 12, 2008.  Excerpt:

...[I]nsofar as the current and forward-going articles are concerned, the default option should be to deposit the author's final, peer-reviewed, revised, accepted draft (the postprint) in the author's Open Access Institutional Repository, not necessarily or even preferentially the publisher's PDF....

And, as Alma Swan and Cliff Lynch have pointed out, the PDF is the least useful for data-mining....

Comment.  I agree, as far as this goes.  But I'd draw one distinction and then go further.  We should distinguish the final text from the final file format.  When possible, we should self-archive the final text.  But even then, when possible, we should not self-archive the PDF.  If publishers have their reasons for producing PDFs of their published articles, they could (as many do now) at least offer alternate formats as well, such as HTML, ODF, or XML.