[OPE-L:6624] [OPE-L:85] Re: Save Our Archives!

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu)
Fri, 28 Aug 1998 21:33:09 -0400 (EDT)

On Fri, 28 Aug 1998, Andrew Kliman wrote:

> I think the case of Barkley Rosser demonstrates that the
> secrecy of the ope-l archives is not just bad in principle,
> but also an obstacle to scholarship and academic freedom in
> a quite concrete, immediate sense. Let us use this as an
> opportunity to correct the situation by opening the archives
> to the public at large!

This is an an unhelpful piece of grandstanding.

Anyone who has been privy to previous discussions of this topic
(the opening of the OPE archive) - as "Drewk" has certainly been
- will know full well that the notion of opening the archive to
"the public at large" is a non-starter. I personally would not
mind. That is because I have a thick-skinned and polemical
streak; I nonetheless respect the views of those list-members
who have said very clearly that they regard OPE as a private
forum, in which they reserve the right to make comments and
observations "off the record". Given that members'
contributions over the past few years have been predicated on
the assumption that this is a closed list, it is clear that the
opening of the archive cannot be a matter for a majority vote;
it has to be by consensus.

The specific question at hand is whether we consent to open the
archive to someone, namely Barkley Rosser, who is clearly a
serious scholar and who is known personally to many of us.
Once again, I vote "yes", without prejudice to the issue of
making the OPE archive generally public.

If people positively want their ideas to be accessible to the
public at large, there is an obvious expedient: publish in the

Allin Cottrell.