Evolving Publisher Copyright Policies On Self-Archiving

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002 14:00:26 +0000

On Sat, 9 Nov 2002, [Identity Removed] wrote:

> I guess you know of the attached. It looks like for "noncommercial
> exploitation" even the -- [publisher-name deleted: a very large
> learned society] -- is coming around to e-prints...
> (although what is "personal web space" is a bit hazy).
> -----------------------------------
> Dear [publisher-name deleted]
> I am trying to fax the copyright form.
> Our university has a policy of making all preprint publications
> available via e-print publication databases. Please advise of
> issues regarding this policy.
> ------------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 16:49:03 -0800
> From: [Deleted publishername]
> You are not allowed to do this under [our] copyright rules, unless
> it is for academic purposes, only.
> You may have your paper posted to your own personal web site
> and make sure it is for academic purposes, only, not for
> commercial re-sale.
> ----------------------------------

Thanks for the above. We all had reason to be confident that all
peer-reviewed research journal publishers would come 'round sooner or
later. Here's a 1996 prediction based on another big learned society's
(APA) initial position:
And here is APA self-archiving policy in 2001:

Publishers really had no alternative: Otherwise it would simply have become
transparent to the research community just how great (and grotesque and
gratuitous) the conflict of interest between what is best for researchers
and research and what is best for publishers had become at the end of the
Gutenberg era. The immense new Postgutenberg possibilities for research
simply made the status quo indefensible.

Like other publishers, though, [deleted] are still thinking
papyrocentrically: They make the usual incoherent point about "personal
websites" in order to ward off the obsolete paper notion of "commercial
re-sale," but of course this is nonsense. All personal websites are
public websites. But no commercial sale or resale is involved or
intended, so there is no problem.

    "Academic Press Journal Article Copyright Policy"
    "Preaching the gospel of self-archiving"
    "Copyright: Form, Content, and Prepublication Incarnations"
    "Berkeley Electronic Press's Self-Archiving Policy"

(All institutional Eprints-Archive rights statements should specify
clearly that the full-text is provided free for any research or
academic use as long as the text is (1) kept intact, (2) authorship and
locus of publication are fully attributed, (3) no endorsement of other
material it might re-appear with is implied, and (4) it is not used
for sale or resale, online, on paper, or in any other medium. See:
http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ls/disresearch/romeo/index.html )

Note that the new [deleted's] policy, although it refers to the
"preprint," is actually even more progressive than that, as it is
clear from context that what they mean by the preprint is the refereed
postprint too!

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

Cheers, Stevan
Received on Sat Nov 09 2002 - 14:00:26 GMT

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