Re: Self-Archiving JSTOR OCR'd Retrospective Publications

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 14:08:37 +0100

It would be silly and self-defeating for give-away (refereed research)
authors to PREVENT publishers (e.g. JSTOR from
scanning, OCR'ing and selling their give-away papers for a fee if they
wish. But it would be sensible and advisable for these authors to take
a copy (now the work of scanning/OCR has been done for them) and
self-archive it, along with their current work, in their institutional
eprint servers (

That way no one sues anyone, everyone is happy, and researchers'
retrospective work is available free for all online, alongside their
current work.

Give-away means give-away. The authors of refereed research write for
research IMPACT, not for INCOME from access-tolls. Let others charge
access-tolls if they like, as long as a draft is publicly archived
online for free too.

Stevan Harnad

On Thu, 28 Jun 2001, Leslie Chan wrote:

> Dear Stevan,
> While I am fully aware of the distinction between the "give-away" literature
> and the writing-for-fee literature, I can't help but wonder if the US
> Supreme Court ruling (see below) will have implications for the scholarly
> literature, as publishers have been digitizing back issues of journal
> articles that were published before the arrival of electronic publishing and
> before there were electronic rights for authors to give away. In other
> words, could authors prevent publishers from digitizing the material that
> they do not have the electronic rights to, just as some publishers have been
> preventing authors from self-archiving? And what would this really mean, if
> anything?
> Leslie Chan
> The Supreme Court ruled that freelance writers must be compensated
> when publishers reprint their works in electronic form. The high
> court sided with National Writers' Union President Jonathan
> Tasini, ruling that transferring freelance authors' articles to
> CD-ROMs and online databases creates totally new editions of
> those articles--not revisions, as publishers had argued. American
> University professor of law Peter A. Jaszi said, "This decision
> seems to be a wonderful reaffirmation of the central importance
> of the creative individual in our copyright system." However,
> historians Ken Burns and Doris Kearns Goodwin said the ruling
> will harm intellectual research if publishers remove freelance
> articles from databases.
> (Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 26 June 2001)
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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