The First Free Research-Sharing Site, arXiv, Turns 20 With an Uncertain Future

Josh Fischman, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Aug 15, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

If you work in physics, you don't read journals, you read arXiv, the pioneering pre-print and document repository established - can you believe it? - in 1991. The Chronicle makes much of the fact that arXiv has "an uncertain future" and is currently in a round of fund-raising. But perhaps that's because the service questions the traditional stance: "It baffles me that scientists in some fields can announce results in a public forum, such as a meeting, while another group can reproduce the results, publish first in a journal, and be given complete intellectual precedence,” he [arXiv founder Paul Ginsparg] writes. Journals and referees need to take more care to give credit where credit is due." Hear hear! See also Ginsparg, arXiv at 20, in Nature. Via Stevan Harnad on the BOAI Forum.
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