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November 3, 2006

Sent Via Certified Mail

Dr. David J. Skorton, President
Cornell University
Office of the President
300 Day Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853

  Re: arXiv Access Denial / Dr. Robert Gentry

Dear Dr. Skorton:

The Rutherford Institute has been contacted by Dr. Robert Gentry, an eminent scientist who has sought to post research papers on arXiv, the automated electronic archive and distribution server for research papers in physics, computer science, mathematics, and other scientific communities controlled and administered by Cornell University Library. Despite having previously posted papers on arXiv and having a valid password, Dr. Gentry's recent attempts to post his papers on the archive have been rejected without adequate explanation.

On June 29, 2006, Dr. Gentry received a password and user name from the arXiv administrator allowing him to post papers on arXiv. This is in accordance with the provisions for arXiv access posted at www.arxiv.org/help/endorsement, which indicate that anyone in the "scientific community" may contribute research papers. Additionally, Dr. Gentry previously submitted three works he authored to arXiv that are still available on the archive. The access instructions also provide that "[p]eople who've already authored papers in arXiv will receive automatic endorsements so they can continue submitting papers in areas that they are active in." Thus. Dr. Gentry has met, and continues to meet, the stated criteria for posting research papers on arXiv.

Notwithstanding his qualifications, Dr. Gentry has been denied access to the archive. On September 1, 2006, he attempted to submit a paper titled "Flaws In Big Bang's Central Assumption Leads To Discovery Of Nearby Center And Associated Cosmic Model With Its Vacuum Energy A Dark Energy Candidate." In response he received the following message: "You are not allowed to submit. Your ability to submit papers to arXiv has been suspended by administrative action. Contact www-admin@arXiv.org for more information." That same day, he sent an e-mail message to this address requesting an explanation for why he had been

Dr. David J. Skorton, President
November 3, 2006
Page 2

suspended. Dr. Gentry received only an automatic reply that day and has not received a response to his question concerning the basis for his suspension.

Dr. Gentry again attempted to submit a paper to arXiv on October 6, 2006, but again was denied access and received the same message in response. Again, he sent a message to the e-mail address provided requesting an explanation for the suspension of his ability to submit papers. In response, he received another automated reply indicating he should receive a response by 4:00 p.m. EDT. However, he did not receive an explanation that day, nor has an explanation for the suspension of his ability to post papers on arXiv been provided since that day.

The refusal to allow Dr. Gentry to post his paper on arXiv is troubling not only because it has been done in apparent violation of the access rules governing the archive and without any specific explanation (despite Dr. Gentry s request for one), but also because it is contrary to the ideals of academic freedom which prestigious centers of learning such as Cornell University are meant to foster. This ideal is reflected in statements describing arXiv as "an openly accessible" repository for scholarly work and as a "revolution[ary]" way for "physicists, mathematicians, and computer scientists to engage in scholarly communication." Dr. Gentry has been deprived of his ability to participate in and add to this scholarly dialogue without the courtesy of an explanation.

We also note that the federal entities, including the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, provide funding for the operation of arXiv and Cornell University Library. Indeed, NSF Director Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr. testified before the Senate Commerce Committee that recent scientific advances strongly suggest that we are on the verge of a revolution in our understanding of the nature of space, time, dark energy, and the physics of the universe. Dr. Gentry's papers address these topics in explaining his recent discoveries of a new cosmic model.

On Dr. Gentry's behalf, we request that you or an appropriate representative provide an explanation for the refusal of arXiv, which is owned and operated by Cornell University, to allow Dr. Gentry to post papers on this electronic archive and distribution server. If Dr. Gentry's ability to submit papers has in fact been "suspended by administrative action," please furnish the basis for the administrative action, the person or persons who are responsible for the decision, and the date on which the decision was made. We request a response to this inquiry on or before November 22, 2006, so we can promptly advise Dr. Gentry of the options available to him.


Sincerely yours,


Douglas R. McKusick, Staff Attorney
The Rutherford Institute

Dr. David J. Skorton, President
November 3, 2006
Page 3


Ms. Sarah E. Thomas,
  University Librarian
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

Professor Paul Ginsparg
325 Clark Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853


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