Monday, June 21, 2010

Freeing my father's publications part 3

Well, continuing on with what I started two years ago and posted about yesterday. I am trying to make scientific publications by my father (Howard J. Eisen) freely available on the web somehow.

For more see
And alas things did not start out well today.  At the suggestion of Linda Avey I looked at Academia.Edu to see if I could create a page there for my father.  I guess I could have lied, but they ask for current institution/affiliation so I could not do that. 

So I decided to start to try to download his papers from journal sites to use when I create some web site for him... not getting very far I note ... and getting a bit pissed off. 
  • Paper #1: 
    • Growth hormone and phosphorylase activity in adipose tissue. Eisen HJ, Goodman HM. Endocrinology. 1969 Feb;84(2):414-6. 
    • Available online apparently here.  Published by The Endocrine Society which makes papers from 12 month old back to 1997 available for free online.  But it does not make older papers available.  What an inane policy.  So I cannot (legally) get a PDF of this paper without paying for it?  F*$cking brilliant. Glad though, that UC Davis is not paying for this as it should be available for free to everyone.
  • Paper #2 : 
    • Horm Metab Res. 1971 Sep;3(5):331-5.The effects of hypophysectomy on phosphorylase activity in adipose tissue and muscle. Hellman DE, Eisen HJ, Goodman HM.
    • Seems to be available via Thieme Journals here.  But then alas, it is not available for free. Great.
  • Paper #3 :
    • Endocrinology. 1973 Feb;92(2):584-8. Effect of insulin on glycogen synthesis in fetal rat liver in organ culture. Eisen HJ, Glinsmann WH, Sherline P.
    • Any guesses anyone?  Yup, some thing from Endocrinology
  • Paper #4 :
    • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1973 Dec;70(12):3454-7. Regulation of hepatic glycogen synthesis during fetal development: roles of hydrocortisone, insulin, and insulin receptors. Eisen HJ, Goldfine ID, Glinsmann WH.
    • Hooray. Kudos to PNAS for doing the right thing and making older papers available for free via Pubmed Central
That is where I am stopping for now.  Will keep working on this over the next few weeks. 


  1. Same frustrations I had when doing the background searching for my dissertation- I wanted to have a complete history of the organism I work on- papers before 1970 were very difficult to get a hold of. I noticed a trend that "unique" journals, or journals with historically low readership had the least availability. Sort of a chicken and egg track...what came first- low readership or lack of availability? kudos to you for doing this!

  2. I remember your dad well. A great guy. And this a wonderful Father's Day project you are doing.

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Meanwhile I'll post a link on the Health Business Blog.

  3. Sorry didn't work out...I should have checked with them first before suggesting it. Richard Price, one of the co-founders, said it may be a function they add down the road--enabling posthumous profiles--but they're still building out functionality around active researchers. Good luck--and please keep us posted!


  4. No need to apologize Linda - it was a good idea -- and maybe we can stimulate one of these places to create posthumous options.

  5. And David W -- great to heat that ---

  6. This is a great idea, and inspired by your example I went looking for my father's publications -- he's a retired MD, still with us, and I've known about his papers for ages. But when I went to actually track them down, I discovered that while three are freely available from the publisher's site, the other two are offered only via a pay-per-view mechanism. I find that curious, since all five were published in the same journal (Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1973-1976), and I cannot discern any pattern that distinguishes the free-access papers from the pay-per-view ones ...

  7. Guy - is there some time cut off that might explain it?

  8. I wrote about your efforts on the Health Business Blog

    Keep it up!

  9. Jon - I don't think it is a simple time cut off. The dates are:
    Mar 1973: Pay-per-View only
    May 1973: Free Access
    Jul 1973: Free Access
    Feb 1974: Pay-per-View only
    Apr 1976: Free Access

    I'll have to contact the publisher for more information.

  10. Just a quick note to mention that you can attach PDFs to a profile on Mendeley using the My Publications feature. If you'd like to create a profile for your father there, you're more than welcome to do so.

  11. You can use the desktop client to upload PDFs and have them appear on your Mendeley Web profile.


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