Re: The definitive answer from Wiley-Blackwell

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 07:39:30 -0400

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On 9-Jun-09, at 5:35 AM, C.J.Smith wrote:

      In suggesting that I have made a ?big and needless
      strategic and practical mistake? you seem to be assuming
      that I have taken a blanket decision for our repository
      not to accept Wiley-Blackwell author final drafts. I have
      not. All I said was that, despite what is written on
      their website, I remain concerned by some other
      information I received, and by the wording on their
      copyright form, which appears to contradict the
      information on their website.


Let me preface my reply with a reaffirmation of the fact that I think
your efforts on behalf of OA and filling OU's IRs with OA's target
content are extremely valuable, timely and welcome, both for OU and
for OA. 

If I venture to offer some practical advice, it is in no way intended
to imply that your work is less than precious. I am merely suggesting
ways in which it can be made ever more effective. And one of those
ways is to reassure authors by putting their (largely naive and
groundless) worries about copyright at ease, rather than reinforcing

The default explanation and advice to OU's authors regarding their
right to deposit their refereed, accepted final drafts in OU's
repository should (in my judgment) be the following:

      (1) Every final draft can and should be deposited in OU's
      IR immediately upon acceptance for publication. There is
      absolutely no legal obstacle to doing this, without
      exception; publisher policy and copyright are completely
      irrelevant to making this deposit.

      (2) Set access to the deposit immediately as Open Access
      if the journal (or the publisher, on behalf of all its
      journals) has formally stated that all of its authors may
      make their final drafts OA, without any access
      embargo (as at least 63% of journals have already done).
      If you have contractually agreed to an access embargo in
      your copyright agreement, you can instead set access to
      the deposit as Closed Access for the duration of the
      embargo. (Closed Access means only the metadata are
      openly accessible, not the full-text, until the embargo

      (3) If the journal or publisher has formally stated that
      you may make your final draft OA immediately and has
      elsewhere made negative statements inconsistent with
      that, act according to the positive statement until and
      unless you receive ever a "take-down notice" from the
      publisher -- at which time you may simply re-set your OA
      deposit as Closed Access if you wish.

      (4) Avoid agreeing contractually to any OA embargo
      wherever possible.

That, I think, is the only advice an institution and its repository
should be giving its authors, to inform and reassure them about (1)
their right to deposit and (2) their right to set access to their
deposit as OA.

But I can already assure you, Colin (as I have done before) that none
of this advice will have much effect one way or the other until and
unless OU adopts an OA mandate:

      "[T]he principal purpose of mandates themselves is
      to reinforce researchers' already-existing inclination to
      maximise access and usage for their give-away articles,
      not to force researchers to do something they don't
      already want to do. 

      "(Researchers need to be reassured that their departments
      or institutions or funders are indeed fully behind
      self-archiving, and indeed expect it of them; otherwise
      researchers remain in a state of "Zeno's Paralysis" about
      self-archiving year upon year, because of countless
      groundless worries, such as copyright, journal choice,
      and even how much time self-archiving

      By posting on this issue, I am simply sharing information
      with the repository community to help us make informed
      decisions on behalf of our depositors. One of the biggest
      selling points when advocating open access self-archiving
      is to reassure our academics that we know what we are
      doing when it comes to checking publishers? copyright and
      self-archiving policies. Depositors are placing their
      faith in our knowledge and expertise, and therefore I
      certainly do not think it is a mistake to be thorough.

The best institutional reassurance to its authors is an official
institutional deposit mandate. The correct and complete advice (in my
view) is (1) - (4) above. More (e.g., fretting about contradictory
formal statements by publishers) would be just reinforcing author
worries rather than reducing them.

Nor do authors need to resort to "faith." In cases where they have
any "reasonable doubts" they should simply set access provisionally
as "Closed Access," rather than not deposit at all.

      For green OA to be successful, it must be sustainable.
      For it to be sustainable, it needs to offer a good

For green OA to be sustainable, it has to be mandated. Otherwise
there is nothing to sustain. Repository managers and library staff
trying to beg, borrow or appeal deposits through reassurances about
legality will never come anywhere near filling an IR with its target
OA content. What is needed is an official institutional deposit

      If academics think (rightly or wrongly) that we are
      placing them at risk by making decisions based on
      cherry-picked statements that suit us, I think most would
      not see this as providing a good service. Therefore, is
      it not a strategic mistake to not consider carefully any
      publisher mixed messages?

I think that there might be an underlying premise here to the effect
that: the way to fill an IR is to provide unmandated authors with
a proxy deposit service together with reassuring legal advice. 

My own view, for what it's worth, is that this premise is profoundly
erroneous: that (1) - (4) is all that repository managers and
librarians need to do for authors (though if for some reason they
really wish to, they can do their keystrokes for them too).

Any further effort and energy (apart from the technical maintenance
of the IR, including the all-important incentive: IRstats) will be
most fruitful if directed toward persuading the university (as well
as its individual faculties, schools, departments and labs) of the
necessity, feasibility and benefits of adopting a Green OA deposit
mandate, rather than fussing about publishers' self-contradictory
policy statements. We have to keep reminding ourselves that
self-archiving is entirely in the hands of the research community,
not the publishing community -- but those hands (or rather their
fingertips) need to be mandated into movement.


Colin Smith
Research Repository Manager
Open Research Online (ORO)
Open University Library
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

Tel: +44(0)1908 332971


From: Repositories discussion list
[mailto:JISC-REPOSITORIES_at_JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On Behalf Of Stevan
Sent: 08 June 2009 16:58
Subject: Re: The definitive answer from Wiley-Blackwell
On 8-Jun-09, at 11:07 AM, C.J.Smith wrote:

While I acknowledge that the Author Rights page on the
Wiley-Blackwell website states that authors can deposit their
final accepted manuscripts in institutional repositories, I
remain concerned by the communication I received direct from
their permissions department:
?The [submitted] version is the only version we allow to be
placed into institutional repositories. We do not allow the
post-peer-review[ed] article, the author?s final draft, or any
other version to be deposited.?
Colin, with all due respect, I think you may be making a big
and needless strategic and practical mistake here. 
If a publisher has publicly posted a statement,  "All authors
may do X"  and seems to have contradicted it elsewhere -- "All
authors may not do X" -- (whether orally or in writing), it is
definitely not the author's or the repository manager's
responsibility to resolve which of the publisher's mixed
messages to heed: Heed the one that is more favorable to
whatever you want to do. If it is X, then do X.
      This seems to me to be a pretty clear and
      unambiguous statement, and it leaves me wondering
      why I was told this if their policy really is as
      stated on their Author Rights page. I could of
      course have had the misfortune of speaking to a
      misinformed Wiley-Blackwell employee.

I cannot understand why one would want to give the same weight
to a verbal opinion by a single employee over a written policy
statement, visible to all.
      However, I also remain concerned by the terms in
      their (most widely used) copyright assignment
      Under C.1.a (Submitted Version), mention is made of
      the right to self-archive in an institutional
      repository. However, under C.2 (Accepted Version),
      no mention of this is made. Indeed, it states that
      ?re-use of the accepted and peer-reviewed (but not
      final) version of the Contribution shall be by
      separate agreement with Wiley-Blackwell?. This does
      not appear to reflect the notion that all
      Wiley-Blackwell authors can automatically deposit
      their accepted versions in their institutional

Again. If there is a formal statement "Authors may do X," with
no mention that they have to pay to do it, or beg to do it,
then go ahead and do X rather than seeking or heeding  at
contradictory statements elsewhere.
Let us not forget that all that is at issue is whether or not
the author one day receives a take-down request from the
publisher -- at which time he can decide whether or not to
honor it. But all this advance anxiety to actively solicit
unanimity when when there is at least one formal affirmative is
hard to fathom/
      I would certainly echo SHERPA?s advice that, where
      possible, it is best to consult individual journal

No one has suggested that it is SHERPA's statement that one
should go by!  If the publisher states that its blanket policy
does not cover all of its individual journals then by all means
consult the policy of the individual journal. (But that does
not appear to have been what was at issue above: It was not
publisher's general policy vs. an individual journal policy,
but one (published) statement of the publisher's policy vs.
another one contradicting it.)

This is particularly relevant in the case of Wiley-Blackwell,
which publishes a lot of journals on behalf of learned
societies, who may have their own policies on open access
archiving built into their publishing agreements.
It is fine to consult the formal, published statement of
individual journals if the publisher's blanket statement does
not apply to all of its individual journals. (But once you have
the journal's written statement, don't then go on and phone
their permissions phone-answerer to ask if it's true!)
Stevan Harnad
      Colin Smith
Research Repository Manager
Open Research Online (ORO)
Open University Library
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
Tel: +44(0)1908 332971
-----Original Message-----
From: Repositories discussion list
Jane H Smith
Sent: 28 May 2009 16:11
Subject: Re: The definitive answer from Wiley-Blackwell
While reviewing all of the recent comments regarding the
Wiley-Blackwell policies, I came across the following
under Author Rights and Benefits>important Author
This appears to be a re-branding of the pervious
Blackwell Publishing policy, but it does clearly state
that it applies to 'All Wiley-Blackwell Journals' albeit
taking into account that policies vary between journals.
In summary, in general you can deposit the following
(including in an institutional repository)
- authors version prior to acceptance
- authors final version
- but not the final published version
Of course because of the variation between journals on
policy and embargoes, the best information is still going
to come from each journals own policy.
SHERPA are now actively working on the changes needed to
RoMEO for it to hold and display journal level policies,
which will be of the greatest benefit for publishers such
as Wiley-Blackwell, where the policy varies so much.
Jane H Smith B.Sc (Hons) M.Sc MCLIP
SHERPA Services Development Officer
OpenDOAR -
Juliet -
Nottingham E-Prints -
Greenfield Medical Library
University of Nottingham,
Queens Medical Centre
Phone: 0115 951 4341
Fax: 0115 823 0549
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000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity
registered in Scotland (SC 038302).
Received on Tue Jun 09 2009 - 12:43:22 BST

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