Re: PostGutenberg Copyrights and Wrongs for Give-Away Research

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003 21:20:04 +0000

On Sun, 2 Mar 2003, [identity deleted] wrote:

> In some of the copyright-ceding forms researchers sign when publishing in a
> refereed journal, there are special exemptions for researchers carrying out
> US government-supported research.
> Do you know, whether these researchers are only ceding certain components of
> the copyright, and if this is the case, which components they are retaining?

Government researchers are contractually forbidden to transfer
copyright for their research reports, so they simply license the
right to publish and sell to the publisher, as in the Nature license:

There is no reason all authors of refereed research
articles should not do the same; but there is also no need. If
they retain the self-archiving right, that is sufficient;

And even with the most restrictive copyright tranfer
agreement, there are legal ways to achieve almost the same outcome:

Copyright is a nonproblem: The only problem is researchers' own
sluggishness in providing open-access to their give-away research by
self-archiving it. Momentum is growing, however, and the outcome is
inevitable (and optimal for research and researchers).

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sun Mar 02 2003 - 21:20:04 GMT

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