Re: Learned Society Publisher's Comment on PLoS/Sabo

From: patrick brown <pbrown_at_PMGM2.STANFORD.EDU>
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 14:40:55 -0700

On Saturday, July 19, 2003, at 08:07 AM, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> The Sabo act is indeed a bit flaky on copyright. Copyright protection
> against plagiarism (theft-of-authorship) and text-corruption will of
> course have to be maintained. But this has nothing whatsoever to do
> with
> toll-access publishers' use of copyright as protection against piracy
> (theft-of-text).

Copyright protection has never been used as a defense against
plagiarism of scientific and scholarly work published in research
journals. The disincentive to those who would be tempted to plagiarize
is not the law but very effective and clear community standards of
behavior. Exposure of an act of plagiarism ruins the perpetrator's
reputations and almost inevitably costs them their grant support and
their jobs. The classic academic plagiarism involves stealing work
from an obscure publication, and often publishing it in an equally
obscure publication, so that the risk of detection is minimized. There
could be no better protection than to have immediate, easy free online
access to an authoritative copy of the original work, from a trusted
source. Copyright, to the extent that it is used to restrict access
(and for most online academic journals, proscribe independent users
from automatic searching and indexing of the text), protects
plagiarizers from being detected.

Received on Sat Jul 19 2003 - 22:40:55 BST

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