"Authors Re-using Their Own Work"

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 07:02:00 -0400

On 27-Jul-09, at 5:39 AM, [identity deleted] wrote:

      Hello Stevan,

      Could I ask you to have a quick look at SAGE's terms for
      "Authors Re-using Their Own Work"?  It seems to me that
      it forbids the "email eprint request" button:


      (The link is from this page:
      http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav )

      It says you can distribute photocopies of the published
      article to your colleagues on an individual basis, but
      not electronic versions.  On my reading, there's a
      12-month embargo on circulating electronic copies of the
      refereed version of the article in any way.  Wouldn't
      this prohibit the "email eprint request"
      button? http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/274-guid.html

(1) The SAGE "author-re-use"document says "You can distribute photocopies." It does not say "You cannot 
distribute electronic versions." It simply does not
say "You can distribute electronic versions."

(2) There are many other things the SAGE "author-re-use"
document does not say you can do with your own work, including that
you can distribute corrected versions, laminated versions, or
versions in Gothic script.

(3) And in saying things that you can and cannot do with your own
work, the SAGE "author-re-use" document is not restricting itself to
the things a publisher can and cannot tell you that you can and
cannot do with your own work. For example, publisher "permissions"
regarding what you can and cannot do with your pre-submission
preprint prior to acceptance of the refereed postprint are rather
far-fetched (e.g., making corrections in it).

(4) But the short answer to your query is this: No, there is nothing
either defensible or enforceable that a publisher can do or say to
prevent a researcher from personally distributing individual copies
of his own research findings to individual researchers, for research
purposes, in any form he wishes, analog or digital, at any time. That
is what researchers have been doing for many decades, whether or not
their right to do so was formally enshrined in a
publisher's "author-re-use" document.

SAGE is a ROMEO pale-green
publisher: http://romeo.eprints.org/publishers/65.html 
That means they endorse authors making their pre-refereeing preprints
Open Access immediately (and they endorse making authors'  refereed
postprints Open Access after a one-year embargo). During the embargo,
SAGE authors (like any authors) are of course free to send an
individual copy (whether analog or digital) of their refereed
postprint to any individual user who requests an individual copy for
research purposes. Nor is SAGE or any publisher entitled to dictate
to the author how they may lick the stamp or stroke the key that will
mail or email the reprint or eprint to the requester.

If I may make one suggestion to researchers who are puzzling over
what they can and cannot do with their published research articles:
Please use common sense rather than falling into (or for) formalistic

Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Jul 27 2009 - 12:03:35 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:49:51 GMT