Re: Copyright, Embargo, and the Ingelfinger Rule

From: Lee Giles <giles_at_IST.PSU.EDU>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 09:58:04 -0400

It's important to note that neither the ACM or IEEE imposes this rule. Furthermore, all
journals that compete with ACM and IEEE do not enforce this rule.

Lee Giles

Stevan Harnad wrote:

> On Fri, 25 May 2001, Tabah Albert wrote:
> > I am wondering whether you know of any physics journal that imposes the
> > Ingelfinger rule. I mean, aside from Science or Nature, such as
> > Physical Review Letters, etc.
> I hope others in this Forum will be able to reply. All I know is that
> the APS journals definitely do NOT impose the Ingelfinger Rule. Indeed,
> APS has the most enlightened and advanced copyright policy of any
> established refereed journal today (i.e., other than the newest free
> online-only journals).
> Science and Nature should not be tarred with the same brush, however.
> Nature's current embargo policy is more advanced and enlightened than
> Science's regarding the Ingelfinger Rule (although Ellis Rubinstein of
> Science magazine did indicate informally at a meeting last year that
> Science would probably soon be following suit).
> Tenth International Conference of Science Editors, Rio de Janeiro,
> Brazil August 27-30, 2000
> I append at the end of this message a prior discussion of this topic on
> this list.
> See also:
> > I have been doing some thinking about the contradiction between the
> > visibility obtained from posting preprints on the web and the
> > imposition of the Ingelfinger rule by high quality journals and whether
> > the rule that is supposed to ensure high quality and the citations that
> > come with it does not punish those who try to obtain visibility and
> > citations prior to the formal publication of their works.
> You are quite right. It does. And it needn't. And there is no
> justification for it. And the Ingelfinger Rule can and should be ignored
> by authors. (Unlike copyright restrictions, which can be successfully
> circumvented legally by give-away authors, the Ingelfinger Rule is not
> even a legal matter but merely an arbitrary journal policy, like
> declining to publish papers by authors who have maternal relatives who
> are blue-eyed...)
> Harnad, S. (2000) Ingelfinger Over-Ruled: The Role of the Web in
> the Future of Refereed Medical Journal Publishing. Lancet
> Perspectives 256 (December Supplement): s16.
> Harnad, S. (2000) E-Knowledge: Freeing the Refereed Journal Corpus
> Online. Computer Law & Security Report 16(2) 78-87. [Rebuttal to
> Bloom Editorial in Science and Relman Editorial in New England
> Journal of Medicine]
> On Sat, 29 Jan 2000, Diana Deutsch wrote:
> > I just noticed that you listed Nature as a journal that does not have
> > embargo policies. However, they write in their Instructions to
> > Contributors that authors need to state with their submissions that the
> > work they report has not been disseminated in any way (for example, no
> > press releases). Recently I decided not to submit a recent finding to
> > Nature for publication, because the work had received considerable media
> > attention following a talk I gave at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of
> > America, and a lay-language version that the ASA (indeed a branch of the
> > enlightened AIP) posted for this meeting.
> >
> > I'd be grateful if you had any information about
> > Nature's 'real' policy on this.
> It seems to me that based on Nature's own announced Embargo Policy
> <>, you had no reason not
> to submit it to Nature anyway:
> Nature does not wish to hinder communication between scientists.
> For that reason, different embargo guidelines apply to work that
> has been discussed at a conference or displayed on a preprint
> server and picked up by the media as a result. (Neither
> conferences nor preprint servers constitute prior publication.)
> Our guidelines for authors and potential authors in such
> circumstances are clear-cut in principle: communicate with other
> researchers as much as you wish, but do not encourage premature
> publication by discussion with the press (beyond your formal
> presentation, if at a conference).
> Science's policy is much more regressive insofar as online self-archiving
> of preprints is concerned, and that difference is crucial here:
> <>
> Science will not consider any paper or component of a paper that
> has been published or is under consideration for publication
> elsewhere. Distribution on the Internet may be considered
> previously published material and may compromise the originality
> of the paper as a submission to Science.
> However, they too are reasonable when it comes to inadvertent press
> coverage of a conference by the media.
> In addition, the main findings of a paper should not have been
> reported in the mass media. Authors are, however, permitted to
> present their data at open meetings but should not overtly seek
> media attention. Specifically, authors should decline
> participation in news briefings or coverage in press releases and
> should refrain from giving interviews or copies of the figures or
> data from their presentation or from the manuscript to any
> reporter unless the reporter agrees to abide by Science's press
> embargo. If a reporter attends an author's session at a meeting
> and writes a story based only on the presentation, such coverage
> will not affect Science's consideration of the author's paper.
> I might add that I see nothing objectionable about Nature and
> Science's press embargos: Authors should not seek press coverage for
> unrefereed findings. But there is zero justification for trying to
> prevent the online self-archiving of unrefereed preprints for
> fellow-researchers. (And, a fortiori, less than zero justification for
> trying to prevent the online self-archiving of REFEREED reprints, which
> Science also does. I am not sure what Nature's current policy is on
> this.)
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> Stevan Harnad
> Professor of Cognitive Science
> Department of Electronics and phone: +44 23-80 592-582
> Computer Science fax: +44 23-80 592-865
> University of Southampton
> Highfield, Southampton
> NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing free
> access to the refereed journal literature online is available at the
> American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01):
> You may join the list at the site above.
> Discussion can be posted to:

Professor C. Lee Giles
School of Information Sciences and Technology
and Computer Science and Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
504 Rider Building, 120 S Burrowes St
University Park, PA, 16801, USA - 814 865 7884
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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