Re: Some initial thoughts on the Brussels Declaration on STM publishing

From: Leslie Carr <>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 00:32:08 +0000

On 20 Feb 2007, at 20:37, Eamon Fensessy wrote:
> It is true researchers do transfer copyright of their works to
> publishers for wider distribution but they do this knowing full
> well the works will be peer-reviewed and included in Journals which
> are respected in the STM community.

Researchers could know full well exactly the same thing WITHOUT
transferring copyright.
This is done becaue the researchers know it will benefit them.

I beg to differ: it is done BECAUSE the publishers issue contracts in
which it is demanded. Can you explain how copyright transfer benefits
researchers, because I think that it harms them.

> If one were to go out and establish their own journals using
> today's technology, they could do that too.
We seem to be agreed that technology may assist those wishing to
establish an independent journal.
> But, there are "journals" and there are "JOURNALS."
ie there are journals which are highly rated, perhaps with higher
impact factors than their "competitors".
> Publishers provide a necessary service to their readers
It sounds as if I am splitting hairs if I point out that "publishers
don't have readers", but I want to emphasise the roles that
publishers undertake. Otherwise we end up making sentences (like the
Brussels Declaration) that sound as if publishing companies are
entirely responsible for journal output, peer review and scholarly
communication. The sentence "I am going to read this publisher" is
nonsense. (Although the sentence "I am going to read Elsevier" could
be the basis of a dreadful pun.)

Publishers have customers. Journals have subscribers. Articles have
readers. What service do publishers provide? They manage the business
aspects of journals (investment, sales, marketing) and they help
administer the workflow for journal content.

In an indirect sense publishers provide a service to readers, but so
do funding councils and governments.
> ...Eamon Fennessy, Prides Crossing, MA 01965
Received on Wed Feb 21 2007 - 02:56:06 GMT

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