Re: Nature's vs. Science's Embargo Policy

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 12:06:01 +0100

On Tue, 11 Jun 2002, Ingemar Bohlin wrote:

> Whatever the importance of the copyright policy of journals like Nature, it
> may be of interest to readers of this list that that particular journal now
> seems to have changed its policy. In a news item that appeared in a Swedish
> paper a couple of weeks ago, Philip Campbell, Nature's editor-in-chief, is
> reported as saying that his journal recently decided to allow authors to
> retain the copyright to their articles. While the restrictions on
> distribution of material before publication remain in force, the
> dissemination of postprints is now left to the authors' discretion.
> If anyone has seen this new policy announced in Nature, it would be
> interesting to have the reference.

I have forwarded this to Phil Campbell and Declan Butler for clarification
regarding Nature's policy on the published postprint, but I have to
point out that in light of the online age and the needs of research
and researchers Nature's restrictions on the preprint have already been
updated for some time (in comparison to those of Nature and New England
Journal of Medicine, for example, although there is every reason to
believe those journals, and others, will be following suit too):

    "Nature Embargo Policy"
    "Nature does not wish to hinder communication between scientists...
    Neither conferences nor preprint servers constitute prior publication."

    "Re: Nature's vs. Science's Embargo Policy"

    "NEJM's New Website and New Policy"

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

    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]

    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.

Stevan Harnad

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):

Discussion can be posted to:

See also the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

and the Free Online Scholarship Movement:
Received on Tue Jun 11 2002 - 12:06:01 BST

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