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In London on June 8 the British Computer Society Electronic Publishing Specialist Group sponsors a debate on the future of scholarly periodical publishing.
In the longer version of my essay, which Fuller had in hand, this distinction was even more explicitly stated as the "esoteric vs. trade" distinction, and some clear criteria were given for whether or not a given article was esoteric, chief among them being (1) whether the author wrote with the intention or expectation of selling his words (if so, the article was trade) and (2) whether that article's specific readership was large enough to constitute a market (if not, the article was esoteric).
I had warned that none of what I was saying would make any sense if one failed to observe this distinction and instead treated these two categories as if they were one, and Fuller's commentary has fully confirmed this. [All passages in italics are quotes from Fuller.]
the "Faustian bargain"... is very much part of the folklore of academic life. Its image of the profit-driven publisher provides a convenient scapegoat and remedy for academics who feel that they never quite get their message across to all who could potentially benefit from it.
I don't know about academic folklore, but in the Faustian bargain I was referring to, the publisher is as much the victim as the author. The demonology (irrelevant to the thrust of my THES essay, as we shall soon see) was spelled out more explicitly in an earlier paper of mine:
The devil, in other words, is the technology of paper -- its cost and cumbersomeness -- not the publisher. And here too, remembering to make the esoteric/trade distinction is critical:
The prototype of the Internet, ARPANET, was thus launched in 1969 to connect Defence Department researchers working all across America... this history highlights the basic point that if there is, indeed, a "Faustian bargain" in the life of the mind, it is the one that academics strike with their sponsors that buys them the leisure to collectively pursue their studies.
Several things fail to make sense in the foregoing passage:
(1) Yes, the Internet happens to have begun (in part) with ARPANET, but that's history; the Internet is not controlled by the US Defence Department. Nor could it be: It's too big, distributed, and international, involving millions of computers, local area networks, wide area networks, dedicated phone lines, satellites, etc.
(2) The National Science Foundation still pays about 10-20% of the cost of the US "backbone," but that will soon be privatised. (I'm not an expert on these figures: Steve Goldstein firstname.lastname@example.org knows the exact numbers, and the timetable for the privatisation.) [Note added in revision: the privatisation took place quietly last month.] Most of the rest is paid for by a consortium of Universities and other Institutional Users, who pay a flat rate so they can then let their staff and students use it essentially limitlessly. That's the special nature of a Network. It's a distributed entity, all interconnected. Analogies are hard to find. It's not like a highway, with tolls per axle, nor like a phone, with charges by distance or message unit, nor like cable or satellite TV, with individual subscriptions, nor like a mainframe computer, with connect and processing time charges, nor like ham or CB radio -- though the Net involves bits and pieces of all these technologies.
And the irony is that right now it is the Universities and the NSF that are subsidising use for all of us: in other words, the Net's current commercial uses are getting a free ride from academe! Once the Net is privatised, however, and commercial products and services start to flow on it for fee, my prediction is that all of society will be better off if the Net's remaining academic uses (especially esoteric publication) -- by then merely the flea on the tail of the dog -- continue to get a free ride.
(3) If by academics' "sponsors" Fuller means the Universities that pay their salaries and the Government sources (like NSF) that support their research, yes, it is in the interest of both of these not to put a price tag where none is needed, and nothing is gained. Universities do not charge their staff library fees, or metre their reading, much less their writing. Rather, they pay them to do these things (and they don't call it leisure).
So the military origins of the Internet are irrelevant to the point being discussed (which is: Should esoteric electronic journals be free to all readers?). It is in the interests of both the Universities and taxpayers that scholarship and science should be pursued without imposing unnecessary costs on the scholars and scientists for doing so. Paper was a necessary cost; it is no longer necessary. (Nor should the much more general social question of whether we should have scholars, sciences, research, universities, etc. at all> be mixed up with the specific question of whether it still makes sense to charge scholars for reading one another's work when there is no longer any need to do so.)
over time professors and students alike have taken full advantage of its free facility, so that the Internet is on the verge of becoming the umbilical cord of academic life. Many know first hand that academic productivity is definitely enhanced by the new regime. What better time, then, to privatise the entire Internet, putting its virtual real estate on the market to the highest bidder among those -- including publishers -- who have an interest in promoting academic work! As the Internet evolves from a mere convenience to an outright necessity, it invites thoughts about how much academics -- or their sponsors -- would be willing to pay to continue feeding their technological fix.
Privatising the Internet is one matter. That would simply entail Universities' adding 10-20% to the flat rate they already pay for allowing the free read/write access to the global electronic "library" for all their users. Switching to a fee-for-use model within the University would, as I suggested, be tantamount to charging students and faculty for using their library or for writing papers. Or would Fuller suggest "privatising" University Libraries too, and letting market forces decide who uses them according to how much he's willing to pay?
And what do publishers have to do with any of this? If the Internet were like a paved concrete highway (which it isn't), that still would not make the publishers the highway-owners! As far as I know, publishers' specialised expertise (which is in controlling the quality of the form and content of the written word -- hitherto on paper, but, in principle, in any medium) would not make them especially apt for information highway service work. Computer science and information science sound like better backgrounds for that domain of expertise...
governments will welcome the privatisation of knowledge production as a way of quickly relieving their overburdened budgets. In that case, academics should start worrying more about how intellectual property law might apply to forms of knowledge traditionally regarded as "public goods".
Not much budgetary burden relief to be had there! But since there are so many more consumers in secondary schools than in Universities, why not ease the strain on government budgets by having all of them, pupils and teachers alike, pay by the peek for access to their books and blackboards? and an extra surcharge for the right to write an exam? On the other hand, to tap inelastic demand, privatising access to the school loo might be an even better source of revenue, our demand for knowledge being notoriously rubbery.
Harnad's strategy of locating a medium beyond the reach of economic considerations is no more than a temporary solution, one akin to having everyone who lives in a high-rent district move to a less expensive neighbourhood. It will not be long before the latter locale acquires the property values of the former. The metaphor is telling.
As long as we're telling metaphors, I think it's more like having everyone take public transport, rather than private limousines...
Harnad gives the impression that paper-based production costs provide the main economic barrier to free inquiry, when in fact the cost of renting channels and licencing broadcasters may pose even greater barriers in the long term. In other words, Harnad may be naive in assuming that the Internet is more like a publication without paper than, say, a television with text.
The TV analogy does not work either. Both sending and receiving are involved. There are no assigned frequencies. According to what I've heard, with sufficient demand, more than enough bandwidth can be created to handle all conceivable academic uses till 2020 -- and commercial uses will of course pay for themselves. (Right now, the biggest bandwidth is used to transmit porno-graphics; surely that should get a price tag before Fermat's Last Theorem...)
Is it fair to portray publishers as Mephistophelean agents in a Faustian bargain with academics?
No it is not, and I have not done so. See above.
To begin with, it is misleading to suggest, as Harnad does, that authors -- even esoteric ones -- and publishers have had opposed interests throughout the Gutenberg Era. Only in the late 18th century do "authors" come to be regarded as more than just the first stage of the book production process. After chronic book piracy forced publishers to cut authors' commissions and, in some cases, replace them with cheaper scribes, authors retaliated by claiming a special legal status for the kind of work they do that transcends the medium in which they do it: The print may belong to the publisher, but the words are the author's own. A cynic could say that modern copyright laws were thus designed to ensure against low demand by upgrading the quality of what the author supplies. A more positive gloss was the Romantic image of the "misunderstood genius" whose works appeal only to an esoteric clique. Though it first applied to poets, philosophers and scientists soon adopted this image as their own.
I have difficulty finding a focus in the preceding paragraph, but one thing is clear. It hopelessly conflates the esoteric and trade literature and is hence not pertinent to the points I was making in my essay. This general history of the printed word is not relevant to the kind of periodical publishing I am talking about; only the short history of the modern refereed learned serial is.
Now consider the 'self-organizing" form of academic life known as "peer review". It was designed, not to allow academics to hide from their sponsors in esoteric splendour, but to dictate the terms on which academics accounted for their use of their sponsors' resources. When the first scientific journals were founded in 17th century Britain and France, editors were cast in the role of trusted correspondents with the leading scientific minds, whose letters they would edit for gratuitous metaphysical jargon and personal nastiness. Thus scientific writing was first standardized. Eventually the single correspondent was replaced by the editorial board and more specialized referees.
Interesting, but nothing relevant to the points under discussion follows from it. At present the system is roughly this: A great deal is written by scholars and scientists for fellow-specialists. No one else (including "sponsors") is interested in reading it, even though this exchange of information is (in the case of biomedical and technological research) of potential immediate benefit to us all, and in the case of other areas of scientific and scholarly research it is regarded as contributing to human knowledge and culture.
The quality of this vast and growing esoteric literature is maintained by a system of peer review -- adjudication (including guidance in revision) by fellow-specialists, implemented and mediated by specialist Editors. This is how an article finds its own level in the hierarchy of journals in any given area (almost everything eventually gets published; the only question is: in what form, and where?). And this is how a specialist reader can calibrate his finite reading time by restricting it to as much or as little of the hierarchy as he wishes (top-down). No one has yet proposed an equivalent or superior substitute for the (imperfect, human) peer-review system for validating and triaging this huge, no-market corpus. Peer review is a medium-independent means of quality control serving authors, readers, and sponsors alike.
While standardization is often said to be a prerequisite for genuine knowledge growth, a more pressing historical reason for disciplining scientific communication was to ensure that the scientists' aristocratic patrons were not unnecessarily confused or offended. The aristocrats supported scientific societies in order to be amused, edified and, in some cases, technically empowered. Peer review instituted the decorum needed to persuade patrons that their money was well spent.
Today it is not the few aristocrats but the taxpaying multitudes who support research and education. In cancer research, for example, the taxpayer does not wish to be amused or edified, but to be cured of his ailments. Medieval studies are not supported for technical empowerment but to continue to foster our common heritage of learning. The taxpayer does not seek decorum for his dollars, but assurance that the work being supported is of the best feasible quality of its kind, as judged by those who are able to read and judge its quality: those who have devoted their lives to becoming specialists in the subject matter in question.
In these developments, publishers have often functioned as correctives to the pursuit of esoteric inquiries fostered by peer review. They continue to encourage academics to write books that are suitable for either students or general audiences.
No doubt, and a valuable service that was, and will continue to be, both in paper and on the Net. But my essay has nothing whatsoever to say about it, because it concerns no-market esoteric periodicals, not wide-market books, with which they should no longer be conflated, now that the PostGutenberg Galaxy is within reach.
Of course, publishers have also expedited the specialization of academic journals. But that would not have become such an attractive financial proposition, had academics not been allowed to set their own paths of inquiries, and hence settle into ever narrower domains whose state-of-the-art is defined by one or two journals. Once academic specialists agree that a certain journal is "essential reading" for their field, they deliver a captive audience to publishers that is too good to resist.
But the captive audience is not the readership of the journals, it is the institutional library that must have the entire journal in hand for the few, if any, who ever consult any particular article. This was all well and good in the Faustian era, with the diabolical cost of paper publication, but it is no longer true in the PostGutenberg era, when the captives can at last be set free.
The result has been to place at risk the future of the most creative aspect of publishing: Marketing. Academics tend to see publishing as little more than a matter of editing manuscripts and printing books and journals. Such dualistic thinking breeds the kind of "Us versus Them" rhetoric with which Harnad discusses publishers. However, in their search for new markets, publishers have been leaders in giving voice to groups whose interests cut against those of the established academic fiefdoms. Prominent recent examples include women's studies and cultural studies, two fields that received considerable attention from publishers before receiving formal academic recognition.
Again, I had difficulty finding a focus in this passage. Bravo for publishers who find markets for their books and journals. Bravo for the promotors of women's and cultural studies. But what have these to do with the matter at hand? One needs creative marketing (I doubt publishers will agree that that's their craft's crown jewel) only where there is a product to be sold and a market to be created. Anyone and everyone with access to the Internet is already an esoteric author's potential "market." [Please do not raise the issue of lack of access for all to the Internet: that is a rationale for redoubling efforts to ensure access for all on the Internet, not for restricting the literature to paper, or for adding a price-tag to Internet access.] Finding that "market" is surely better entrusted to the growing armamentarium of powerful new informational tools (indices, specialised and cross-specialty classification systems, search tools, knowbots, etc.) that are unique to the electronic medium, rather than to the market economics of the trade literature.
Here it is worth recalling that not all academic fields are constituted in the same way. Sociologically speaking, there is little reason to think that the success of journals in fields as different as high- energy physics and Harnad's domain of cognitive science can be explained in terms of their common characteristics. Whereas high-energy physics is probably the most intellectually focussed and socially stratified specialty in science today, cognitive science is a very active, but relatively amorphous, interdisciplinary field. The elites in high-energy physics coordinate their activities to dictate to the rest of the field, and sometimes to the entire physics community. By contrast, the success of Behavioral and Brain Sciences may be better explained in terms of the bandwagon effect caused by several elite cognitive scientists from different parts of the field publishing early in the journal's history.
Interesting conjectures here, but one would like to see the evidence supporting them: (1) There is a literature on the differences in peer review and publication practices in different fields (e.g. Hargens 1990). (2) The Ginsparg Archive ain't just high-energy physics any more. (3) The interdisciplinarity of the Cognitive Sciences will be a useful next step in extending and generalising Ginsparg's revolution to the rest of the scholarly/scientific universe. (4) And I'd wait for the findings of some intellectual historians who actually look closely at the data before drawing my conclusions about what was responsible for the success of BBS...
If one wanted to take Cyberplatonism deadly seriously, then not only should paper publishing go by the wayside, but also the whole idea of seeking personal credit for as many articles as possible in peer-reviewed journals. This idea is not intrinsic to pure inquiry, but the result of academics having to account for their activities in a competitive environment involving the allocation of scarce resources. The aristocratic patrons may be gone, but, as Harnad himself admits, the Research Assessment Exercise is just around the corner.
Again, this is too scattershot for me: Must one be for overpublication if one is against the trade model for esoteric publication? Publication quantity and quality are a medium-independent matter, and depend on peer review as well as the indirect reward system (both medium-independent) described in my essay.
As it happens, I do believe (and applaud) the fact that the more interactive form of publication the electronic medium will make possible -- over and above merely duplicating the classical peer reviewed journal hierarchy in cyberspace -- will make scholarly contributions more collective and distributed than they were in paper (Harnad 1990, 1991, 1992), with new, more sophisticated electronic/computational measures of scholarly productivity replacing publication counts and classical citational analysis. But my essay was only about launching the classical peer-reviewed literature into the PostGutenberg Galaxy, not about optimising the process by which Universities review and reward the peers of their realm.
Who, then, will most likely benefit from Harnad's brand of Cyberplatonism? If we grant Harnad's (big) assumption that the future owners of Internet will subsidize all of today's networkers, the answer seems to be the very same people who currently thrive in print.
The beneficiaries of a free, instantly and constantly accessible scholarly/scientific literature will be the scholars themselves, their productivity, and the rest of us, to the extent that we continue to hold scholarly inquiry to be a worthwhile use of human resources. (The Internet-subsidy issue is, as I've noted already, a red herring.)
Consider Harnad's call for everyone to post their articles on the World Wide Web. "Knowbots" notwithstanding, this would only strengthen the system's elitist tendencies, which sociologist Robert Merton has euphemistically dubbed, "the principle of cumulative advantage". Faced with a plethora of titles on a common topic, an author's name recognition will count more than ever. The sheer availability of a work by no means guarantees that it will get into the hands of the people who could most benefit from it. Here marketing can make all the difference, thus providing a fresh challenge for the 21st century publisher.
It is very hard to put a sensible construal on the foregoing passage. Perhaps it's just extreme naivete, but does Fuller really think that marketing would get my research results to my fellow-specialists better, faster, or cheaper than the navigational tools of the Net would, once the entire literature was up there? And why would one resort to name recognition in cyberspace, with all the other powerful search options available up there? What, for that matter, prevents one from using, as a default option, exactly the same selection criteria as one used in the paper literature (only with a lot less wear and tear on the feet)?
The connection between following my subversive proposal (that all scholars should, as of today, archive all their papers for free public access on the Web) and "elitism" entirely escapes me, particularly as the Net has so far proved to be the Great Equalizer. In principle, it gives everyone access to a global vanity press that they could not possibly afford in paper. And if following my proposal did bring down the paper house of cards, the result would be a migration of the peer-reviewed literature to its own bit of cyberspace -- a bit the size of the flea on the tail of the dog, as it is in the paper world: nobody is talking about a wholesale takeover -- where, first, the status quo, the refereed journal hierarchies, would merely be duplicated (no net loss or gain in elitism). Then, the unique power of Skywriting -- interactive publication -- could continue exerting its equalizing effect, with the possibility of rival peer hierarchies fighting it out in cyberspace (Harnad 1990).
Nowadays, a relatively democratic cross-section of the academic community can be found on the "listservs" and "usenets" that populate the Internet. Teachers, administrators, and students do not merely consume the knowledge that cutting-edge researchers generously deposit on the World Wide Web. They are themselves knowledge producers, and often incisive critics of what passes for quality in the print and electronic media. The result is a multiple-registered, rough-and-tumble atmosphere that has put off some elite inquirers but has empowered many more. Admittedly, women and minorities remain underrepresented, but cyber-activists like Sadie Plant are endeavouring to change that.
More apples and oranges: Who disputes or devalues the remarkable communicative developments that have been occurring in chat-groups on the Net? Adding a quiet corner to vast cyberspace where peer review prevails is not at odds with this. To see this clearly, ask yourself whether you would rather have a loved one treated for a serious illness on the basis of information from peer-reviewed medical journals, or from one of the chat-groups where teachers, administrators and students are on a par with specialists. I am not discussing the virtues of supplementing an expert opinion with chat-group advice and experience, I am just talking about the form the specialist medical literature should take on the Net. I assume the serious replies on this will be univocal -- that for treating serious illness in the family, the background research should take the same peer-reviewed form on the Net as on paper. Well then, ask yourself whether there is a branch of knowledge about which we are less serious than this, about ensuring that only reports validated by experts prevail? For if there is such an area of learned inquiry, I would like to see what its paper journals look like, in particular, how and why they differ from the material on a call-in radio show...
Cyberplatonists like Harnad tend to downplay the heterogeneity of the Internet, perhaps hoping that it will eventually come under the decorous thumb of peer review. However, if we took Plato's Socratic dialogues as a model for "free inquiry", anyone would be allowed to participate in any line of thought wherever it may lead. A discrete publication would result, if at all, only after considerable discussion, by which time it would be difficult to identify who deserves credit for which idea. Crackpots and ignoramuses -- assuming we know who they are -- would be given their say, but then one would do the obvious: refute, ignore, or delete. The filtered world of anonymous refereeing would thus dissolve into open commentary.
First, as one must keep repeating, the decorous thumb of peer review is only intended for one small region of the Net, the same region, as a matter of fact, where it prevailed in paper. In addition, the Net offers much richer competitive possibilities for thrashing out who counts as a "peer," and which journal hierarchy is the definitive one. It also allows the added dimension of open peer commentary (Harnad 1990) -- in sanctioned as well as renegade peer groups -- to strengthen the self-corrective function of learned inquiry. Publications may indeed go through more incarnations, and become more collective than in the Gutenberg era. That's all well and good. But don't imagine that if there is no peer-reviewed region at all, to serve as a quality filter and marker, that any high-powered cyberspace navigational tool will be able to replace it. You will have no idea what is worth reading -- and if you base your choice on the results of the opinion poll resulting from the samplings and judgments of those who have nothing better to do with their time than to forage into such a vast unfiltered literature, then you do so at your own peril.
If there is anyone on this planet who is in a position to say so, surely I, having had a chance to compare peer review with open peer commentary for almost two decades in a paper journal, and over half a decade an electronic one, can state unequivocally: peer commentary is a supplement to not a substitute for, peer review (Harnad 1979, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1995b).
authors read referees' reports pretty much as editors do, namely, as a red or green signal for publication.
Incorrect: Editors do not read referee reports this way (especially since referees often disagree). Mostly referee reports serve to rank-order submissions as to those that are likely to be acceptable if revised (and how to revise them) and those that are not. (The rejected papers usually end up published in some form or other, usually lower down in the refereed journal hierarchy, or sometimes in the unrefereed vanity press.) Moreover, authors usually revise in response to referee reports. So peer review is far from being just a red/green light. It is an active feedback mechanism for quality control.
Harnad's enthusiasm for quick turnaround times from acceptance to publication only nurtures this mentality.
Why does (everyone's!) enthusiasm for fast turnaround after successful revision and acceptance foster the red/green mentality? Editors and referees are, and are meant to be, brakes on the system, preventing weak, wrong, unclear, incomplete, irrelevant or unoriginal results from being published. But after the quality has been controlled?...
However, the reports may wind up playing little or no role in shaping an author's thought, at least as long as there are other journals to which the author can submit a rejected piece with minimum alterations. No wonder referees find theirs to be a thankless lot.
This is true in some cases, but irrelevant to the issue at hand (which is -- to remind us, amidst all these digressions -- whether esoteric periodicals should be electronic, whether they should continue to be sold on the trade/subscription model, whether peer review should be retained on the Net, and whether authors should publically archive their papers electronically now). Most accepted authors have revised their papers in response to the feedback from the referees.
The source of the problem is simply that authors are encouraged to submit their work in a finished form. By that time, they have normally become so attached to it that they are psychologically incapable of grappling with substantial criticism. However, because there is so little to which one can become attached on the Internet, authors are more prone to submit drafts with holes that others may be better positioned to fill. Thus, a genuinely collaborative inquiry may be fostered.
I suggest that Fuller look at the literature on peer review rather than just speculate about what authors do and don't do (Harnad 1982, etc.). (That, at least, is what I would have said if I were refereeing his essay...)
Finally, the thrust of Fuller's Socrates/hemlock metaphor was, I must admit, entirely lost on me. What is it that "cyberplatonists" are going to be forced, by whom, to drink, and to what end?
[Most papers cited below from the last eight years are machine retrievable from the Harnad public e-print archive. See also the discussion archive for the Subversive Proposal encouraging all scholars and scientists to create similar public archives for their articles. This discussion will shortly appear as a book edited by Ann Okerson: email@example.com .]
Hargens, L.L. (1990) Variation in journal peer review systems: Possible causes and consequences. Journal of the American Medical Association 263: 1348-1352.
Harnad, S. (1979) Creative disagreement. The Sciences 19: 18 - 20.
Harnad, S. (ed.) (1982) Peer commentary on peer review: A case study in scientific quality control, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Harnad, S. (1984) Commentaries, opinions and the growth of scientific knowledge. American Psychologist 39: 1497 - 1498.
Harnad, S. (1985) Rational disagreement in peer review. Science, Technology and Human Values 10: 55 - 62.
Harnad, S. (1986) Policing the Paper Chase. (Review of S. Lock, A difficult balance: Peer review in biomedical publication.) Nature 322: 24 - 5.
Harnad, S. (1990) Scholarly Skywriting and the Prepublication Continuum of Scientific Inquiry. Psychological Science 1: 342 - 343 (reprinted in Current Contents 45: 9-13, November 11 1991).
Harnad, S. (1991) Post-Gutenberg Galaxy: The Fourth Revolution in the Means of Production of Knowledge. Public-Access Computer Systems Review 2 (1): 39 - 53 (also reprinted in PACS Annual Review Volume 2 1992; and in R. D. Mason (ed.) Computer Conferencing: The Last Word. Beach Holme Publishers, 1992; and in: M. Strangelove & D. Kovacs: Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters, and Academic Discussion Lists (A. Okerson, ed), 2nd edition. Washington, DC, Association of Research Libraries, Office of Scientific & Academic Publishing, 1992); and in Hungarian translation in REPLIKA 1994.
Harnad, S. (1992) Interactive Publication: Extending the American Physical Society's Discipline-Specific Model for Electronic Publishing. Serials Review, Special Issue on Economics Models for Electronic Publishing, pp. 58 - 61.
Harnad, S. (1995a) Electronic Scholarly Publication: Quo Vadis? Serials Review 21(1) 70-72 (Reprinted in Managing Information 2(3) 1995)
Harnad, S. (1995b) Implementing Peer Review on the Net: Scientific Quality Control in Scholarly Electronic Journals. In: Peek, R. & Newby, G. (Eds.) Electronic Publishing Confronts Academia: The Agenda for the Year 2000. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Harnad, S., Steklis, H. D. & Lancaster, J. B. (eds.) (1976) Origins and Evolution of Language and Speech. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 280.
Hayes, P., Harnad, S., Perlis, D. & Block, N. (1992) Virtual Symposium on Virtual Mind. Minds and Machines 2: 217-238.
Odlyzko, A.M. (1995) Tragic loss or good riddance? The impending demise of traditional scholarly journals. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (formerly International Journal of Man-Machine Studies) 42: 71-122. Condensed version: Notices of the American Mathematical Society 42: 49-53.