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INTARCH-INTEREST  January 2003

INTARCH-INTEREST January 2003

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Subject:

Re: "Publishers damned" LONG

From:

Ian Johnson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

e-journal Internet Archaeology <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 14 Jan 2003 19:37:06 +1100

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (75 lines)

> I think  there are problems with long term accessibility. For example, I
> <snip>. Yes, my university library subscribes to the journal, but as a
> non-university member I am not able to access them. Even if I did I would have
> to arrange ahead to book a computer, and unlike students I would not be able
> to make a hard copy.

Long term access may well be an issue - who can predict the future when
the past can be counted on the fingers of one hand - but I think you're
putting up a straw person. Just b/c your local library, after several
hundred years, has acquired the technology to give you free access to
printed matter, doesn't mean that your current inability to access an
e-journal with the same convenience is generalisable. For example, you
wouldn't need to book a computer outside core hours in some libraries, and
that will extend to more as computers become ever more critical and
cheaper per unit; the decision to allow you to print is based on licencing
and policies. These are well developed for books - allowing you to
photocopy selectively - but still need working out for e-publications (as
you note in your last para). This is not some fundamental flaw in the
system, jsut a reflection that the technology is extremely new.

> With the print journal in the library I can go in, scan through them, browse,
> them, read reviews, read articles about stuff outside my field. The difficulty
> in looking at electronic journals prevents me doing this with e-journals.
> It ends the possibility of stumbling across the gem of an article in a journal
> one does not normally read, or reading that intriguing book review or finding
> paralles to ones research outside your own area. Ironic, considering the
> emphasis placed on 'rhizomatic' thinking promoted by many advocates of the
> internet.

It seems you are critiquing a particular current technology, nothing to do
with the basic concept of an e-journal. Indeed, once the system is set up
properly - and I woudl agree it's not easy today to browse around the
e-publicaiton world - it shoudl be easier to browse than the physical
realm of a sequentially shelved system where related items can be in
different buildings.

> Currently, there is a danger that e-journals will actually end up having even
> more reduced access than print journals Whilst the academic community may be
> well-served by them there is a huge audience of arcaheologists working
> professionally who do not have access to academic facilities, not to mention
> the even larger constituency of amateur archaeologists who will also not be
> able to get access to the information in these journals. Ultimately this
> threatens to increase the academic/field divide which has been such a plague.

Same problems for print. You either have to subscribe or go to a library.
Then you are dependant on policies and licencing. Most people in the
develoiped world have or could have easy access to the Internet, so if
costs drop due to increased competition and savings on distribution costs
etc. then it just might reduce rather than increase the divide.

> Don't get me wrong- I think the internet is definitely the future for
> archaeological publication, but we need to explore different models for
> funding it. POssibilities include pay-per-view , where you can just pay a
> small fee (ie not more than it would cost to photocopy the article) to look at
> an article, or short-term subscriptions (i.e. pay for access for a period of
> 24 hours or a week).


 =======================================================================
Ian Johnson  [[log in to unmask]]
Director, Archaeological Computing Laboratory & TimeMap Project
Senior Research Fellow, School of Archaeology

Archaeological Computing Laboratory
Department of Archaeology
University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia
+61 (0)2 9351 3142 tel
+61 (0)2 9351 6392 fax
+61 (0)402 389 190 mobile

http://www.TimeMap.net

An Associate of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative
http://www.ecai.org

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