Re: Draft Policy for Self-Archiving University Research Output

From: Mark Doyle <doyle_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 11:14:02 -0500

On Wednesday, January 8, 2003, at 03:19 PM, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 13:56:09 -0500
> From: Mark Doyle <doyle_at_APS.ORG>
>> md> The APS takes copyright for a variety of reasons (it has been a
>> good
>> md> thing lately for both scanning backfiles and for handling recent
>> cases
>> md> of scientific fraud and plagiarism).
> Agreed. No harm in transferring copyright as long as the self-archiving
> right is retained.

For an interesting twist see Nature's new policy:

I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that exclusive licenses
enforceable in some countries (Germany?). This is the main reason APS
still asks for copyright.

>> md> The APS approach is to grant back to authors all of the rights
>> they
>> md> expect (such as putting material in centralized or institutional
>> e-print
>> md> archives, just not the APS formatted version).
> That's plenty. The postprint need not be the publisher's PDF, in this
> day and age. (In fact, it can be much better!)

That's true, but I should have also included the publisher's XML version
of the article which can be a much better "archival" object and can
many rich features. Anyway, I know we disagree on the importance of
I view these as tangibles that can be part of the exchange between
and authors and their institutions for submission side payments to cover
the costs of peer-review and the production of the archive. It is
one way to make the transition past the subscription model for an
established publisher like the APS.

> Errata/corrigenda are a matter of scholarliness and scientific rigor
> for refereed research researchers. But it's always nice to have others
> invigilating too. The referees were one, the publisher is another, and,
> in the open-access world, the entire peer community is yet another.

My guess is that doesn't always get updated with errata.
archives are unlikely to get updated if the erratum occurs after an
leaves an institution. Who at the institution is going to determine when
something warrants a correction and make sure that it is available and

>> md> Another point worth making is that authors often have stronger
>> md> associations over their career with the publishers of the journals
>> md> they submit to than with their institutions. Authors might not be
>> happy
>> md> relinquishing rights to their work if they change employers.
> Moot point, when the work is open-access. The author retains the
> authorship (the "moral right") in any case. His CV goes wherever
> he goes. There is no royalty for refereed research, just the indirect
> rewards of research impact, which is maximized by open access. So what
> are we talking about retaining or not retaining here?

I was responding to the another participant in this thread who claimed
that it would be better for institutions (and not the publishers or
authors) to retain
copyright. I don't think researchers would find this to be natural.
There are
other paths to open access that don't require institutions to actually
copyright. I don't think the point is moot because open access doesn't
necessarily mean that anyone can take a full archive and make it
as they see fit. Open access doesn't equal public domain.


Mark Doyle
Manager, Product Development
The American Physical Society
Received on Thu Jan 09 2003 - 16:14:02 GMT

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