Boston College Libraries Faculty Newsletter


FALL 2009


James Gips

James Gips
John R. and Pamela Egan Professor of Computer Science
Carroll School of Management



For your books and articles that have been posted on the web, do you have reason to believe that there have been many downloads taking place? How do you know?

The PDF that you created for the book Algorithmic Aesthetics by George Stiny and James Gips, University of California Press, 1978 was posted on the web for free download at (and also at my BC website). From the statistics provided by the server for I can see that there have been 5829 downloads from that website since the file was posted in June.

By having such scholarship freely available on the web, do you think that a wider audience will be reached --- as compared with relying on standard print publications?

The total number of printed copies of Algorithmic Aesthetics sold by University of California Press from 1978 on was 912.

How did you first learn about the Libraries' service in posting faculty publications on Boston College's eScholarship website? Was this service satisfactory in your case?

The service in scanning and creating PDFs for out of print articles and books was absolutely outstanding.

For what types of publications do you think Open Access (free access via the internet) would be most helpful in promoting scholarship? (out-of-print books and articles, new or recently published books and articles, BC-published e-journals, all of the above)?

All of the above.

Besides improving access to your own out-of-print books and articles, has the Open Access service of the Libraries also made these works easier for scholars to discover?

Honestly, I don't know about the services of making the books and articles available. I take it upon myself to make the books and articles available at their own special websites and at my BC website.

In your discipline, is there a need to facilitate discovery of and access to the rapidly growing body of scholarly literature?

Yes. The literature is so diverse, in so many locations, it is difficult for people to find and access relevant work.

Would Open Access peer-reviewed journals be an attractive mode of publication to you and your colleagues?


Some funding agencies are now asking that funded research results be made publicly available (for free) within a limited time after the research grant period ends. Do you think that these types of policies will serve society’s interests well?

Yes, definitely.

How would you feel about retaining some of your copy rights (e.g., the right to repurpose your own published works) when publishing --- this would involve adding an addendum to your publishing contracts? Would you desire assistance in preserving some of your copy rights?

It is tough to require retaining some of your copy rights if the journal where you are trying to publish insists otherwise.

Any recommendations for Boston College or its Libraries regarding Open Access?

I'm all for Open Access but it will be a tough battle for current work.


[Answers provided by Professor James Gips on September 13, 2009 in response to questions posed by Bill Donovan, Boston College Libraries.]

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