Re: Green, Gold, Elsevier, Springer

From: David Goodman <>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2004 12:26:35 +0100

Dear Andy,

as I read it, the elaborate language provided by Springer carefully avoids
the exact situation of interest: the ability to post a version whose text
and illustrations have been corrected to be the same as the published
version, but the article is not identical: i.e., does not have the same
layout, etc. Furthermore, the pdfs discussed are Springer-provided pdfs;
I see nothing that discusses the use of a pdf the author prepares himself
from the final printed version using a scanner and Acrobat: these too
will not really be identical to the ones on the Springer server because
their quality will typically be much lower. One publishes with Springer
in the first place in part because of the superb quality of their print
and electronic output.

The publisher could have prepared a statement resolving these ambiguous
statements, and apparently has chosen to leave them ambiguous. I
therefore think that any author could, in good faith, choose any of these
methods that have not been specifically prohibited. There is a purpose in
deliberately ambiguous language in contracts, which is when neither party
wants to establish a firm precedent that might prove not to their liking.

Surely we all hope that as Springer and other publishers gain confidence
with "green" OA, they will relax their requirements and specifically
permit posting of the final pdfs. There is certainly an example to follow,
because they all once prohibited interlibrary load from electronic
versions, and now almost all do. In the intermediate period, their
language was often ambiguous, and intelligent librarians interpreted it
in accordance with their patrons' best interest.

We would, imho, be well advised to make vigorous use of the rights our
campaign has won.

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum on behalf of Andy Powell
Sent: Thu 9/30/2004 3:45 PM
Subject: Re: Green, Gold, Elsevier, Springer

On Thu, 30 Sep 2004, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> "[Springer] Authors are encouraged to post [= self-archive] their
> electronic pre-press articles and will not be required to remove
> electronic pre-press articles from publicly accessible servers
> (including the author's own home page) once the article has been
> accepted for publication, nor upon actual publication. At the
> moment of publication of the final article the author is kindly
> requested to provide a link from the pre-press article to the final
> published article in order to stimulate usage of the peer-reviewed
> and accepted work."
> (Note that the Springer statement is a bit vaguer, but of course Springer
> authors too should update their preprints to incorporate the changes made
> during the peer review and editing process.)

Are you sure about this last bit? The Springer Copyright Policy goes
on to say (under 'author retained rights')

--- cut ---
 Pre-press: the right to retain a pre-press version of the article on a
public electronic server such as the World Wide Web. Springer does not
require that authors remove versions of their article that differ from the
version as published by Springer from publicly accessible servers,
however, Springer asks that a link be made to the final published article
and that the following statement accompany that link: The original
publication is available at be posted with
the pre-press article. Please use the appropriate URL and/or DOI for the

 Uncorrected proofs: the right to post the uncorrected proofs of the
article on a public electronic server such as the World Wide Web or the
author's homepage. These proofs will be sent to you after acceptance by
the journal. Springer does not require that authors remove versions of
their paper that differ from the version as published by Springer from
publicly accessible servers, but Springer asks for a link to the final
article to be posted with proofs.

 Final article on a secure network: the right to post the final article on
a secure network (not accessible to the public) within the employer's
institute. Unfortunately, for logistical reasons it is not currently
Springer's policy to provide PDF files. If this poses a particular problem
for you or if you have a specific requirement, please contact our Special
Licensing Department.

 Final article on a public server: posting of the final published article
on a non-commercial public server is allowed when using protected PDFs
that are available at a surcharge through Springers PDF-offprint program.
--- cut ---

which seems to me to quite clearly state that you can only make the final
(i.e. corrected, post-press) version available on a secure network and/or
after having paid the surcharge?

Distributed Systems, UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK      +44 1225 383933
Resource Discovery Network
ECDL 2004, Bath, UK - 12-17 Sept 2004 -
Received on Fri Oct 01 2004 - 12:26:35 BST

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