Michael_A._Lebowitz (mlebowit@sfu.ca)
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 13:02:42 -0700 (PDT)

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In message Sat, 20 Sep 1997 06:22:08 -0700 (PDT),
Gerald Levy <glevy@pratt.edu> writes:

> A week ago, I made a new proposal on the archives in [5454] (reproduced
> below). Since that time, one dozen subscribers responded.

> Here's my suggestion:
> a) more subscribers should write posts in support or opposition to the
> proposal;
> b) to have more of a *discussion* (rather than merely a vote tally) more
> subscribers who write posts should *explain* why they support or
> oppose the proposal;
> c) we should aim to *resolve* this question in a reasonable period of
> time. More specifically, I think we should set a *goal* of trying
> to resolve this question by *mid-October*.

I'm not at all worried about being quoted or misquoted either by OPE
listmembers or archive lurkers. (My recent silence should definitely not be
interpreted this way.) I think, however, the most important principle that
should guide us on the matter is that listmembers should feel free to make
mistakes. In this respect, I'm very sympathetic to Duncan's coffee house
analogy. To the extent that the discussions here are fruitful, that will be
reflected in our subsequent publications (where it will be quite
appropriate to thank other participants). Those who argue for complete
openness are, I believe, confusing the place of an electronic conversation
(which OPE has been) and an electronic journal. In fact, the more I think
about this, the more I am inclined to keep the archives closed in order to
encourage discussion and feel that listmembers themselves should not quote
(or circulate in original form) the arguments of others without explicit
permission. As for the importance for scholarship that the archives be open
to young scholars now, let's leave them for the historians of economic
thought when they are trying to understand why "X" changed her position so
dramatically from one publication to another.

in solidarity,

> Archives Proposal from [5454]:
> (1) The archives be opened for the purpose of research to serious scholars
> and students of political economy.
> (2) It will be left to the good judgment of individual listmembers to
> decide who to notify about the archives, but:
> a) anyone who wishes to examine the archives must agree _in advance_
> that they will not quote the contents of posts on the Internet or
> elsewhere without the explicit written permission of the
> author(s).
> b) recommended individuals must agree in advance that they will not
> forward copies of any OPE-L posts to others or notify anyone else
> of the location and passwords for the OPE-L WWW archive site.
> (3) The List Coordinator, i.e. myself, will be notified in advance of
> who listmembers want to tell about the archives. It will then be
> decided who will communicate the above information, including the
> address and passwords for the WWW site of the archives, to the
> proposed individuals.
Michael A. Lebowitz
Economics Department, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5A 1S6
Office (604) 291-4669; Office fax: (604) 291-5944
Home: (604) 872-0494; Home fax: (604) 872-0485
Lasqueti Island (250) 333-8810