[open-science] Publication of In-Depth Content

Florian Meier florian.meier at koalo.de
Tue Jan 20 20:16:21 UTC 2015

2015-01-20 13:49 GMT+01:00 Peter Murray-Rust <pm286 at cam.ac.uk>:
> [...]
> There are very few good reasons and many bad ones. If the material is being
> printed, *and* if any human actually reads the paper version, then this is a
> reason. But there are good reasons for trying to scrap it.

At least the page limits should be handled much more flexible.
Especially after a (positive) review it is quite awkward to include all
the suggested enhancements, but still stick to the page limit. Oh yes,
sometimes you can pay for additional pages...

> Bad publication means that 85% of science is wasted (The Lancet).
> Condensing the account is now an act of destroying science.

Full ack!
(I hope this is not mistaken as an excuse to bloat a text by someone :-) )

> There are differences between conferences and other publications, because
> conferences sometimes create actual paper. IMO there is no valid reason why
> the full account should not be available.

I hope I have understood you correctly: I do not criticize the existence
of extended paper versions. It is great to have these extended versions,
especially if they were created anyway (for example because the page
limit was lowered...)! I just ask myself if this is the best way to
publish additional material in the first place, i.e. in my concrete
Should I rather create an extended version of the paper (with the same
title + "[extended version]", same abstract...) or a clearly separate
work about all the details?

>> Secondly, publishing an extended version of the same paper is difficult
>> with regard to copyrights, self-plagiarism
> I don't understand this "self-plagiarism" unless it is deliberately meant to
> increase your metrics.

You are right, but how can a metric know if this was "deliberately"?
For example, if the original paper is cited at the same time as the
extended version (see below), some metrics might mistakenly (or
correctly?) add 2 to the number of citations. But I think this is a
minor problem within this context.

>> and last but not least
>> confusing the reader who reads nearly the same paper twice.
> If it's clearly signposted it shouldn't confuse anyone.

The confusion rather comes from a collection of practical problems:
- Searching for something in the original paper that is only present in
the extended version.
- Taking notes that refer to pages, equation numbers etc. in the
original paper. They are probably useless when working with the extended
version afterwards.
- Citing the paper: The extended version might contain more details, but
only citing some arXiv article might conceal the fact that the original
paper was published in a highly ranked journal. So you probably end up
citing both and mixing the reference numbers in the text.
- Maybe the original paper inadvertently has some content that is not
included in the extended version...

> The main problem is that the rules are arbitrary and increasingly driven by
> publisher agendas and marketing, not scientists. We have to change this.

Probably it will take a long time, but it is inspiring to see the open
community growing, whether it be open source or open science!
Many great tools and procedures are available and are being developed,
but it is difficult to change the minds - yet not impossible. Some time
ago, many considered Linux to be useless, because you do not have to pay
for the installation. Today this argument is absurd.
The same has to happen to the open science community!


More information about the open-science mailing list