Cornell's Copyright Advice: Guide for the Perplexed Self-Archiver

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 11:28:51 +0100


Cornell's copyright pages
are numerous and confusing because they take a scatter-shot approach to
everything, from Cornell user rights for the use of other people's work
to the negotiation of rights for Cornell authors' own work.

In all of this, it is next to impossible for a would-be self-archiving author to
figure out what Cornell's legal experts advise regarding depositing their
peer-reviewed articles in Cornell's Institutional Repository (IR).

(If anyone has managed to pinpoint Cornell's position on that, within that copious
Cornell copyloquy, I would be grateful if they would excerpt it for us. Otherwise,
all I find is advice that I should retain as many rights as possible, which is fine,
but does not answer the question of a would-be self-archiver, trying to decide
whether I have the right to self-archive *this* paper, *now*.)

Fortunately, the answer to that question is available even without
having to find one's way through Cornell's cornucopia, and it is
this (the "Immediate Deposit, Optional Access" policy, ID/OA):

    (1) Deposit all your final, peer-reviewed, accepted drafts (postprints)
    in Cornell's IR immediately upon acceptance for publication.

    (2) Set access to the postprint as Open Access immediately if it is
    published in one of the 69% of journals that are already green on
    postprint self-archiving.

    (3) Otherwise provisionally set access to the postprint as Closed
    Access and notify the journal that you will set access as Open
    Access on [Date, one month from today] if you do not hear anything
    to the contrary.

    (4) During any Closed Access interval, make sure Cornell's
    IR has the EMAIL EPRINT REQUEST button to handle any
    individual requests for a single email copy -- Fair Use
    -- from would-be users who see the postprint's openly
    accessible metadata:

Now go ahead and deposit, without any further hesitation, immediately. And
negotiate copyright retention, or postprint-self-archiving rights whenever
you can.

Stevan Harnad

On Tue, 19 Sep 2006, Ann Okerson wrote:

> Of possible interest to readers of this list.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Tuesday, September 19, 2006
> Cornell U. Creates Guidelines on Electronic Reserves to Avoid Copyright
> Problems
> To avoid potential legal action by the Association of American Publishers,
> Cornell University issued guidelines for professors this month on how to
> place materials on electronic reserve without violating copyright law.
> The guidelines were jointly written with officials from the publishing
> group in a process that began in April, after the group sent a letter to
> the university complaining that it suspected widespread copyright
> violations on the campus.
> "The university has sought to resolve this matter in a manner that
> protects the faculty's legitimate interests while averting the threat of
> litigation," the university's provost, Biddy Martin, wrote in a memorandum
> to academic deans. The letter, dated September 6, asks the deans to
> distribute the guidelines to professors.
> [SNIP]
> Cornell posted the guidelines and the fair-use checklist on its Web
> site,
> Copyright 2006, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Received on Wed Sep 20 2006 - 11:41:35 BST

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