[linux-elitists] Re: More sites targeted -- another view (fwd)

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Sat Nov 16 02:35:39 PST 2002

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 14:26:28 -0600
From: Robert Michaelson <rmichael@NORTHWESTERN.EDU>
Subject: Re: More sites targeted -- another view

While PubScience did have the worthy goal of allowing the public at large
to locate technical information, George Porter is certainly correct that
many arguments for PubScience were distorted -- as he points out, research
libraries are not at all affected by the presence or absence of PubScience.

I rarely find the motives of the chemical information industry to be
intelligible, and their opposition to PubScience is no exception. Certainly
PubScience never took away any profit opportunities from the commercial
sector; all I can guess is that they opposed PubScience because they were
afraid that some future public database might compete with them.

On the other hand, they presumably don't currently oppose PubMed because
there is a very large and vocal constituency for that excellent database.
They pick their fights, and I suspect SIIA won't try to destroy PubMed (or
Medline or the National Library of Medicine) until they have a far better
political opportunity to do so.  But should we find ourselves in the
horrendous position of having a Republican supermajority (2/3) in the
Senate, I would expect even PubMed to be torpedoed, along with many other
vital government services.

Bob Michaelson
Northwestern University Library
Evanston, Illinois  USA

At 07:32 PM 11/15/2002 +0000, Ben Scott wrote:
>     I apologise if I'm digging up an old and tired discussion, but if
>PubScience was of such little use for professional research, then why did
>the chemical information industry feel so threatened as to have it shut
>     My personal opinion is that anything that isolates science and
>scientific information from the public community does nothing but harm the
>science community as a whole. Is it likely to become reality that the SIIA
>are going to try and close down the rest of the 'free' databases?
>Ben Scott
>UMIST Cheminformatics Student
>----- Original Message -----
>From: John K <jekwml@RITVAX.ISC.RIT.EDU>
>Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 5:36 PM
>Subject: Re: More sites targeted -- another view
> > George,
> >
> > Your critique of PubScience was right on target. But it misses the point,
> > namely, that PubScience is (was) a FREE government resource available to
> > each and every one of us.
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