Mon, 28 Jul 2003 22:22:08 GMT

Jean-Claude Guédon, Open Access Archives: from sci …. Jean-Claude Guédon, Open Access Archives: from scientific plutocracy to the republic of science, IFLA Journal, 29, 2 (2003) pp. 129-140. Excerpt: “The recent history of science has been characterized not only by a transition from science to ÎBig Scienceâ, to use Derek de Solla Priceâs terminology, but also by a deep transformation which, in retrospect, threatens to subvert the original values of modern science. Originally, science appeared as an offspring of the ÎRepublic of Lettersâ, and as such, it belonged to a certain elite: the social structure of Europe in the late Renaissance would have made any other arrangement most unlikely. However, inside the scientific playground, elitism gave way to a peer-to-peer mode of behaviour.” [Open Access News]

This is a good article, it resonates strongly with my work on the republic of letters, commonplace books, and secondary communication channels in science and philosophy/social thought. It also has practical application, and I think that if we could get a few secondary level archives going, the rest will follow. However, they can't be purely disciplinary in nature…. That will crush them under the weight of general disinterest.