[UPS] The Open Archives Initiative

Stevan Harnad harnad@coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk
Wed, 10 Nov 1999 13:24:55 +0000 (GMT)

hvds> Shall we promote openarchives.org?  
hvds> I start to think it is quite nice too.  


It's your decision to make; don't count on unanimity from the entire
group (and if you do get unanimity or even majority, don't count on a
good name from it!).

But if we do adopt "openarchives," we should grab the .org name RIGHT

I think the "Open Archives initiative" would be a terrific name for us,
by the way -- it captures, transparently and with no strained acronym,
ALL the virtues of "public" "self-" "auto-" and "interoperable" and
even "free" -- and benefits too from kinship with all the other "Open"

hvds> BTW, I was inspired by http://www.opencontent.org .  Do you know
hvds> about that? 

I looked at the site, looks good -- but will look even better when it
actually starts filling up (90 items is still small)!

hvds> It is some kind of open source license but for "content". 
hvds> Probably not really applicable for research papers (eprints), although
hvds> we might consider to get in touch with the guy to draw up something
hvds> similar, but applicable to research papers.  

You don't need a license for archived research papers, it seems to me.
Those are give-away by their very nature and always have been. In
self-archiving them openly (and asserting personal copyright) one has
ensured one's authorship, but the text itself is free for all. 

The relevant matter hence is not that, but (and I hope this does not
divide us!) the all-important subset of openly archived research papers
that are also accepted for publication in refereed journals: THEY
require an agreement, but that is with the publisher, to allow him to
sell and lease the paper all he likes, in paper and online, but only as
long as the author retains the right to GIVE it away in the Open

This does not require a special agreement to/from the archive and the
world, but between the author and the publisher, formalizing the author's
public give-away right. We recently adopted Ghirlanda's statement at
CogPrints in this regard:


    Stefano Ghirlanda Stockholms Universitet stefano@zool.su.se
    Campaign for the Freedom of Distribution of Scientific Work

hvds> See, one of the things is that I don't really think the "don't ask
hvds> don't tell" mentality will get us there.  At some point, someone WILL
hvds> ask.

Here is precisely where I would invoke the "Los Alamos Lemma":

If "X" is a purported obstacle to the Open Archives Initiative, but it
did NOT stop LANL, then it is not an obstacle!

LANL authors just did it: They publicly self-archived their own
give-away papers, both unrefereed and refereed, and the rest is (past)

We should not insist on any more before taking the first step!

Stevan Harnad                     harnad@cogsci.soton.ac.uk
Professor of Cognitive Science    harnad@princeton.edu
Department of Electronics and     phone: +44 23-80 592-582
Computer Science                  fax:   +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton         http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/
Highfield, Southampton            http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/