Re: APS copyright policy

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 15:45:32 +0000

On Fri, 1 Mar 2002, Thomas J. Walker wrote:

> Do authors who publish in an American Physical Society journal and sign the
> APS copyright transfer agreement have the legal right to post the
> APS-formatted versions of their articles on their own or their department's
> Web servers if these servers are OIA compliant?

> (4) The right to post and update the Article on e-print servers as long as
> files prepared and/or formatted by APS or its vendors are not used for that
> purpose. Any such posting made or updated after acceptance of the Article
> for publication shall include a link to the online abstract in the APS
> journal or to the entry page of the journal.

I expect that Marty Blume, Arthur Smith or Mark Doyle will be replying
for APS. I just want to suggest that the APS policy as stated above
is eminently reasonable, and I, for one, would consider cause of open
access and the research community abundantly well-served if all journal
publishers were to adopt the above policy as their model.

(1) It explicitly allows both the pre-refereeing preprint and the
post-refereeing postprint to be self-archived by the author/institution.
This is all the BOAI self-archiving FAQ asks of publishers:

    "What can publishers do to facilitate self-archiving? "

(2) It requires a link to the publisher's proprietary version. (A very
reasonable thing to have, for scholarly and authentication purposes.)

(3) It does not allow the publisher's PDF page-images themselves to be
self-archived: This is a slight inconventience, but it has an advantage
too: It helps in the unbundling of essential and optional products/services
that will be necessary in order to produce a stable, viable cost-recovery
model in the open access era. For as long as there continues to be a
market for the publisher's enhanced PDF, with its add-ons, the
essential costs of peer review will continue to be covered the old way
(by subscriptions/licenses from the reader-institutions that still wish
to continue buying them). If/when there is no longer a market for the
publisher's enhanced PDF, it will no longer be produced and sold, and
the essential peer-review costs that turn the preprint into the
postprint and certify the outcome can be paid for on the
author-institution-end, per paper, out of the windfall savings on the
prior costs of the optional reader-institution-end product.


Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Mar 01 2002 - 15:46:50 GMT

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