Welcome to FOSN, the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter
     April 28, 2001

Steven Harnad's Self-Archiving Initiative

As I've noted in earlier issues, _Nature_ is hosting a debate on free online scientific journal literature.  If you visited the debate in early April when it began, then you should visit again.  On April 26, Steven Harnad posted one of the most important contributions to date.  Summarizing much of his earlier work in this movement, Harnad calls for a Self-Archiving Initiative in which scientists put pre-prints on their own institutional web sites, continue to submit to peer-reviewed print journals, and then put post-prints on their own web sites. 

To make these separately archived web papers centrally searchable, and interlinked by citations to sources, he recommends that the papers use the metadata tag standard of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI).  When OAI-compliant archives register themselves, then they search engines such as the Cross Archive Searching Service can search them simultaneously.  Eprints.org provides tools for those interested in creating OAI-compliant archives.  The overall project cross-linking self-published papers is sponsored by the Open Citation Project. 

Steven Harnad's 4/26/01 contribution to the _Nature_ debate on The Self-Archiving Initiative

Harnad's longer exposition of self-archiving

Harnad's other papers on electronic publication

FOS debate in _Nature_

Open Archives Initiative

Details on registering an OAI-compliant archive

List of registered OAI-compliant archives

Cross Archive Searching Service

eprints.org tools for creating OAI-compliant archives

Open Citation Project


More free online scholarly books

Yale University Press plans to put its books online for readers to read free of charge.  Readers may conduct full-text searches without paying, but will have to pay if they wish to copy or print anything.  The online texts will be managed by ebrary.com, which announced the agreement on April 16. 

In March ebrary announced a similar agreement with Cambridge University Press and Palgrave.   It has previously announced agreements with Amsterdam University Press and Taylor and Francis.

Don't look for the free online texts just yet, however.  In February 2000 ebrary was predicting that its texts would be available in the summer of 2000.  As far as I can tell, it has stopped predicting.

Random House, Pearson, and McGraw-Hill have investments in ebrary.  Are these for-profit academic print publishers just hedging their bets?  Or have they discovered, as National Academy Press has, that inspiring hardcopy purchases through free online browsing will do more to sustain their current business models than to undermine them?



Bibliography version 36

If you use the definitive Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography by Charles W. Bailey, Jr., then you'll be glad to know that he put version 36 online April 20. 

Charles Bailey's Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography


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Peter Suber

Copyright (c) 2001

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