Re: Central 'Request a copy' address?

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 08:58:29 -0400

    [ The following text is in the "WINDOWS-1252" character set. ]
    [ Your display is set for the "iso-8859-1" character set. ]
    [ Some characters may be displayed incorrectly. ]

I completely agree with Charles: The quintessence of the
functionality and legality of the email-eprint-request Button is that
it is author-governed: Authors are sending one individual copy of
their own refereed drafts to individual eprint requesters for
research purposes, just as they used to send one individual copy of
their own reprints to individual reprint requesters for research
purposes by post for decades. 
This is not like an interlibrary loan request: Libraries are
3rd-party clients, not 1st-party authors.

So although the motivation is a good one, I am afraid that the idea
of centralized, automated "fair-use" by a 3rd-party service is simply
not viable.

Nor is it necessary: The Almost-OA Button has other virtues, besides
being legal, almost-immediate, fulfilling researcher needs almost as
well as immediate OA, and enabling institutions to adopt a blanket
deposit mandate, without exceptions, regardless of publisher
embargoes on OA (by allowing access to embargoed deposits to be set
as Closed Access and letting the Button do the work during the

In addition to all that, the Button brings into strong relief, for
authors as well as users worldwide, the fact that the only difference
between Almost-OA and OA is a keystroke, and that the extra delay and
inconvenience imposed by the Almost-OA Button is something to
eradicate as soon as possible, as simply a gratuitous impediment to
research progress. 

And eradicated it will be, under the growing pressure from the
increasingly palpable benefits of universal deposit mandates and the
OA (63%) and almost-OA (37%) that they vouchsafe.

So just mandate deposit, implement the Button, and let nature take
care of the rest.

Stevan Harnad

On 27-Mar-09, at 8:35 AM, wrote:

Ah,  not quite so straightforward.  it's one thing for an
individual researcher to respond to a request of a reprint from
another researcher.  it's quite another thing to offer a
generic service to all.  I think publishers would be deeply
suspicious of such a service, which I would regard as high risk

Professor Charles Oppenheim
Department of Information Science
Loughborough University
Leics LE11 3TU

Tel 01509-223065
Fax 01509 223053
e mail


From: Repositories discussion list
Of J.W.T.Smith
Sent: 27 March 2009 12:09
Subject: Central 'Request a copy' address?

In EPrints, when there is a contact address for a repository
item, an external user sees a ?request a copy? button.
I was thinking of adding a generic ?request? address to all the
items that have no contact address so requests for these items
would come to a central service. If I have understood Charles
Oppenheim?s advice on Copyright we could supply a copy of the
paper to the requestor free of charge without infringing
Copyright (assuming they say it is for private non-commercial
Has anyone done this (or similar)? Is it Copyright OK?
John Smith,
KAR (Kent Academic Repository) Admin.
Received on Fri Mar 27 2009 - 13:19:43 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:49:44 GMT