The answers to Professor L.W. Hurtado's <> questions are all already implicit in his own text. He wrote:

That's all there is to it. If all authors do self-archive their papers online, free for all, the proposal's objective is fully met. The rest is just misunderstanding or underestimation of exactly what this outcome entails:


Correct. It is the right to do that, online, that refereed-journal authors (who also give their papers to their publishers for free, and ask for no fee or royalty, unlike the authors of any other form of literature) must assert, and never sign away. And the CalTech Proposal is meant to help them do that.

CalTech Proposal: <>

Subversive Proposal: <>


You misunderstand the subversive proposal as pertaining only to unrefereed preprints: It is the proposal to self-archive ALL one's papers, including refereed reprints. Once those are freely available to everyone, online, the subversion is complete. It doesn't matter one bit whether there is still a market for a paper or online version for which libraries or individuals have to pay (by Subscriptions, Site-License, or Pay-Per-View, S/L/P). The papers will be available free for all, online.

(My prediction is that readers will prefer the free online version, library's will cancel the paid S/L/P version, and so publishers will have to scale down to providing only the one essential service they will continue to provide: quality control [peer review and editing] and its certification. But as that will cost so much less per page than S/L/P had cost, it will make much more sense to recover that cost up-front, from author page-charges, paid out of institutional publication funds derived from only a small portion of the annual S/L/P savings.)

So the point is not to "force the publishers to the net" but merely to get all the papers onto it!


Let us lay this to rest right away: The subversion does not depend on whether or not an author wants to self-archive unrefereed preprints. Many surely will, but it does not matter. That is a matter of choice. What matters is that the final accepted drafts should be self-archived too.


> I want the refereeing process first: to filter out the papers not worth the time.

Fine. And that is why peer review will be retained, and why that service, though much less expensive than S/L/P (Odlyzko and others have estimated that it will be less than 30% per published page), will still have to be paid for somehow. Paying it from publication funds derived from <30% of the annual 100% savings from terminating S/L/P seems a natural way to cover them up-front, leaving the literature toll-free for all.


You are preaching to the converted. Peer review will be maintained, authors have the choice of whether to archive both preprints and reprints or just reprints, and readers have the same choice in calibrating their reading, using "P" and "R" as a search tag...

> How do we get academia to….see publications in refereed internet vehicles as in
> principle and eventually in fact as significant….

How on earth did this further option come up? My critique of the CalTech proposal was directed specifically against this completely irrelevant and needless notion that new journals are needed, to compete with the established journals: We have enough journals, and they are doing a reasonably good job (insofar as quality control is concerned). Their only problem is that access to their papers is blocked by S/L/P tolls, even though their authors have given them away for free.

Once authors self-archive all their papers, the access barrier is gone (and it remains only for the established journals to adapt, as discussed above). No new online-only journals are needed, particularly (or at least no more than would be founded as new journals in any event). Moreover, most of the major established journals already have online versions available today -- but access to these is blocked by S/L/P. Which is why subversion is needed, in the form of author self-archiving, and its support by Consortia such as the one proposed in the CalTech Proposal.


Stevan Harnad

Professor of Cognitive Science

Department of Electronics and phone: +44 1703 592-582

Computer Science fax: +44 1703 592-865

University of Southampton

Highfield, Southampton