Journals Differ on Whether to Publish
Articles That Have Appeared on the Web
Many scholars wish they would, but some publishers fear
an erosion of peer review -- and of profits
By LISA GUERNSEY and VINCENT KIERNAN
Ronald E. LaPorte suffered a rude surprise in April, when The
Journal of the American Medical Association turned down a
paper he had submitted.
The paper, on the future of the Internet and its implications for
biomedical research, wasn't rejected as being of poor quality; it
never got that far.
Instead, the journal's editors refused the paper because
material from it already had appeared in a series of archived
video recordings on a World-Wide Web site operated by Mr.
LaPorte, a professor of epidemiology at the University of
"You address an interesting topic," wrote Margaret A. Winkler,
a senior editor at the journal, in a rejection letter to Mr.
LaPorte. "However, your article has already been posted on
the Web, which is a form of prior publication, so we will not be
able to consider it for publication in JAMA."