Re: Royalty-Seeking on Impact-Seeking Give-Away Content?

From: Armbruster, Chris <Chris.Armbruster_at_EUI.EU>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 18:18:45 +0100

I have a few ideas about this, based on experience in social science departments at UK universities:
- Some years ago ACLS was able to insert itself into the routine and large-scale copying that goes on in higher education teaching;
- The amounts of text being photocopied are likely to be significant in subjects were students' readers and/or course work based on scholarship is significant (i.e. mostly SSH subjects);
- Scholars with an outstanding reputation did informally report that income derived from ACLS was not pennies but pounds and quite a lot of those;
- In operation here would be a) the Matthews effect (of the Mertonian variety - the more famous/citations, the more photocopies, the more royalties, the more citations etc.); and b) the short head (of the Internet variety - it is only the case for a few percent, maybe the top 5% of authors or less).

Top authors in SSH can probably be persuaded to make their papers free available on the Internet (viz. RePEc or SSRN), but it is also the case that may SSH subjects are notoriously underfunded and salaries aren't great, therefore the ACLS scheme might be seen as promising some form of compensation...

The issue might be worth addressing in advocacy materials.

Chris Armbruster

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum on behalf of Stevan Harnad
Sent: Mon 11/24/2008 15:05
Subject: Royalty-Seeking on Impact-Seeking Give-Away Content?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sheppard, Nick <N.E.Sheppard -->
Date: Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 7:10 AM
Subject: ACLS and royalties

An academic has recently contacted me with an enquiry about ACLS [Authors'
> Licensing and Collecting Service<> ]
> and the payment of royalties on material downloaded from IRs:
> > The other aspect of this is that academics - under the ACLS
> > service - authors collecting and licencing service - derive
> > (admittedly small) amounts of money from institutional copying
> > charges world wide of >published articles. If we start putting up
> > essays on a repository, we are in danger of cutting off a
> > legitimate source of income for our work - some years it might
> > be 70 quid others it might be 220 from p/copying in Norway
> > and USA or Europe etc. If the ACLS were able to figure the
> > number of hits to university repositories, we could continue
> > to receive payment on the basis of our copyright ownership.
> I spoke to someone at ACLS who told me they are unsure of where they stand
> on the issue themselves and referred me to the Society of Authors for
> further advice. Thought I'd try the list first.

It is hard to discern whether this question was raised in earnest or in

Does anyone imagine that the authors of refereed journal articles would gain
more from (1) the pennies they might demand from ALCS tolls on viewing
their content (online viewing tolls alongside the subscription tolls from
which OA was meant to free refereed research articles) than they would from
(2) the enhanced uptake, usage, and impact that OA itself provides, freeing
their published papers from all user-access-toll barriers -- and (3) the
contribution of that enhanced impact to their performance evaluations,
salaries, promotions, RAE ranking and research funding?

OA is about author-giveaway content: refereed journal articles, written only
for research usage and impact. OA is not about royalty-seeking books, nor
fee-based magazine articles. How on earth does ALCS get into this at all?

1.1. Distinguish the non-give-away literature from the give-away literature
1.2. Distinguish income (arising from article sales) from impact (arising
from article use)

Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Nov 24 2008 - 18:36:45 GMT

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