Re: New Report: Publishers allow more than authors think

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 06:48:36 -0400

This report is welcome for strongly confirming what was already known
from the Romeo directory of publisher self-archiving policies
(SHERPA/Nottingham, with an author-oriented rendering at
EPrints/Southampton): The majority of journals (over 90%) endorse the
immediate, unembargoed author self-archiving of some version of the
article (63% for the refereed version).
It is also quite correct that:

      (1) Most publishers endorse only the immediate,
      unembargoed self-archiving of the author's refereed,
      revised, accepted final draft, not the publisher's
      proprietary PDF.

      (2)Most publishers endorse immediate, unembargoed
      self-archiving only on the author's institutional
      website, not on a 3rd-party website, such as a central or
      subject-based repository.

Both of these limitations are just fine and in no way limit or
compromise the provision of (Green, gratis) Open Access. What
would-be users worldwide who do not have subscription access to the
publisher's proprietary PDF urgently need today is access to the
refereed research itself, and that is what depositing it into the
author's Institutional repository provides.

Although the word "print" is somewhat misleading in the online era,
because most eprints are not printed out at all, but consulted only
in their online version, the preprint/postprint distinction is
perfectly coherent: a preprint is any draft preceding the author's
final, accepted, refereed version, and a postprint is any draft from
the author's final, accepted refereed version onward (including the
publisher's PDF). Preprint/postprint marks the essential OA
distinction: There is no need to use the complicated NISO terminology

The PRC Report is quite right that authors are still greatly
under-informed about Open Access, Self-Archiving, and Rights.
Universities need to master the essential information and then convey
it to their researchers.

      "Too Much Ado About PDF"
      "Waking OA's Slumbering Giant: Why Locus-of-Deposit
      Matters for Open Access and Open Access Mandates"
      "What is an Eprint?"

Stevan Harnad

On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 5:22 AM, Publishing Research Consortium
<> wrote:

      Publishers? agreements are more liberal than journal
      authors think, but do not allow self-archiving of the
      published PDF


      The Publishing Research Consortium has published another
      in its series of reports: Journal Authors? Rights:
      perception and reality (Summary Paper 5).


      Using re-analysis of the recently published ALPSP report
      Scholarly Publishing Practice 3 (which looks at the
      practice of 181 publishers, representing 75% of all
      articles), and a new survey of 1163 authors, the report
      compares what publishers actually allow authors to do
      with the different versions of their manuscript, and what
      they want to do and believe they are permitted to do.


      For both the submitted and the accepted version of their
      manuscript, the majority of publishers? agreements (as
      calculated by the number of articles they publish) allow
      authors to provide copies to colleagues, to incorporate
      into their own works, to post to a personal or
      departmental website or to an institutional repository,
      and to use in course packs; just under 50% also permit
      posting to a subject repository. However, far fewer
      authors think they can do any of these than are in fact
      allowed to do so.


      The published PDF version is the version that authors
      would prefer to use for all the above purposes; again,
      publishers? agreements exceed authors? expectations for
      providing copies to colleagues, incorporating in
      subsequent work, and use in course packs. However, the
      picture is turned on its head when it comes to
      self-archiving; more than half of authors think that
      publishers allow them to deposit the final PDF, whereas
      under 10% of publishers actually permit this ? probably
      because of serious concerns about the long-term impact on


      Why do authors have such a poor understanding of
      publishers? agreements? The PRC concludes that
      publishers need to do much more to make sure that their
      terms are crystal clear, but also suggests that the
      ambiguous term ?preprint? may mislead authors, and should
      be dropped in favour of the recommended NISO terminology.


       Full report: Sally Morris, Journal Authors?
      Rights: perception and reality (PRC Summary Paper 5),
      PRC 2009 (PDF)

       Summary of findings: Journal Authors? Rights:
      perception and reality ? a preliminary report, PRC 2009

       Author survey summary: Author Rights Copyright
      Project, GfK Business 2008 (PPT)

       John & Laura Cox, Publishing Practice 3, ALPSP
      2008 (PDF)

       Journal Article Versions (JAV): Recommendations
      of the NISO/ALPSP JAV Technical Working Group, NISO l
      2008 (PDF)


      The Publishing Research Consortium
      ( is a group of
      associations and publishers, which supports global
      research into scholarly communication in order to enable
      evidence-based discussion. Our objective is to support
      work that is scientific and pro-scholarship. Overall, we
      aim to promote an understanding of the role of publishing
      and its impact on research and teaching.




Received on Mon Mar 16 2009 - 10:49:08 GMT

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