Re: Well-Meaning Supporters of "OA + X" Inadvertently Opposing OA

From: Armbruster, Chris <Chris.Armbruster_at_EUI.EU>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 19:30:15 +0200

stm, ALPSP and PSP say:
^”funding agencies, public and private, ^Ňwaste monies with unnecessary duplicate systems, confuse the scientific record, and undermine journal revenue...^‘ (scroll down)

With the White Paper ^—Author and Publishing Rights for Academic Use: An Appropriate Balance^“, publishers are preparing legal and policy moves to undermine the OA mandates recently agreed by a number of funding agencies. In doing so, they evidently plan to go much further and, if possible, to revoke all permissions to archive and post any form of post-print. Publishers are speaking of the need to limit sharing to ^”internal institutional non-commercial research and education purposes.^‘

By contrast, in a recent paper I argue that nonexclusive licensing is the way forward in the dissemination and certification of research articles and data. The paper was announced
Winner ^÷ Writing Competition
Yale Law Information Society Project ^—Access to Knowledge^“ (2007) and
International Journal of Communications Law and Policy (IJCLP)

"Cyberscience and the Knowledge-based Economy, Open Access and Trade Publishing: From Contradiction to Compatibility with Nonexclusive Copyright Licensing"

No change in copyright law is required. Universities, research funders and scholars may implement all necessary regulation for the emergence of a competitive market that will ensure open access, maximise global inclusion and enhance impact. All that is required are copyright policies that regulate for nonexclusive licensing with some rights reserved (Attribution and No Derivative Works).

If research funders, universities and research organisations adopted a policy of nonexclusive licensing for research articles and data, this would pre-empt any threat from publishers now and in future. Furthermore, it would benefit the advancement of science and the knowledge-based society.

Open source, open content and open access are set to fundamentally alter the conditions of knowledge production and distribution. Open source, open content and open access are also the most tangible result of the shift towards e-Science and digital networking. Yet, this article takes issue with widespread misperceptions about the nature of this shift. The focus is on knowledge distribution and scholarly publishing. It is argued, on the one hand, that for the academy there principally is no digital dilemma surrounding copyright and there is no contradiction between open science and the knowledge-based economy if profits are made from nonexclusive rights. On the other hand, pressure for the ^—digital doubling^“ of research articles in OA repositories (so-called green road) is misguided and OA publishing (so-called gold road) has no future outside biomedicine. Commercial publishers must understand that business models based on the transfer of copyright have no future either.
Digital technology and its economics favour the severance of distribution from certification. What is required of universities and governments, scholars and publishers, is to clear the way for digital innovations in knowledge distribution and scholarly publishing by enabling the emergence of a competitive market that is based on nonexclusive rights. This requires no change in the law but merely an end to the praxis of copyright transfer and exclusive licensing. The best way forward is the adoption of standard copyright licenses that reserve some rights, namely Attribution and No Derivative Works, but otherwise will allow for the unlimited reproduction, dissemination and use of the research article, commercial uses included.

Introduction: The emergence and future of cyberscience as sedimented human praxis and condition of human agency
Scholarly communication and knowledge distribution: The digital elaboration of networked peer production and guild publishing
The structure of the argument: Three takes

Take One: Scholarly cyberpublishing outside of Oldenbourg^“s long shadow
Academic cyberinfrastructure: How does it enable digital networked peer production?
Digital scholarly publishing and the knowledge-based economy: Contradictory or complementary?

Take Two: Decoupling the dissemination of research articles from the certification of knowledge claims
Guild publishing as accredited dissemination that is free to authors and readers
Trade publishing as layered certification that will and should be value-based
The limited uses of the funder- or author-pays publishing model
Copyright contracts matter: What the ^—Study on the economic and technical evolution of scientific publication markets in Europe^“ got wrong

Take Three: Nonexclusive copyright licenses to facilitate the emergence of a competitive market for knowledge services
Copyright as property or license?
Bringing the university back in: The need for a policy change to nonexclusive licensing
Towards a standard science commons Attribution - No Derivative Works license

Digital scholarly publishing websites


I would like to thank Theresa Velden for helping my to clarify the structure of the argument. Paul Ginsparg (ArXiv), Thomas Krichel (RePEc) and Gregg Gordon (SSRN) I thank for helping me think through the issue of ^—first copy cost^“ for digital guild publishing.

The Fondazione Anonio Ruberti (Roma, Italia) with EIROforum (European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN); European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA); European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL); European Space Agency (ESA); European Southern Observatory (ESO); European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF); Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) provided the scholarship that made the research possible. It was undertaken as a Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.

Chris Armbruster
Research Network 1989
Founder and Executive Director

Research articles
Received on Fri May 11 2007 - 02:50:05 BST

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