Re: "Authors Re-using Their Own Work"

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sat, 1 Aug 2009 22:01:21 -0400

On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 5:51 PM, Klaus Graf<> wrote:

> I do not think that using the request button is a valid OA strategy.
> My own experience was that I received few response when
> requesting an article. The St. Gallen IR manager said that
> requesters can obtain much more positive results when mailing
> to the scholar directly... As I have argued before there is strong
> evidence that the eprint request button isn't legal in Germany.

Your beef is with the Button. But the ongoing discussion with Charles
Oppenheim now is not about the Button in particular but about the
legality of authors fulfilling reprint/eprint requests *at all* "when
mailing to the scholar directly"...

> The copyright landscape is changing. What wasn't a problem since 50
> years can now become a problem in the digital age.

Fifty years ago, no publisher formally included in the copyright
contract the author's "right" to provide individual copies of his
article to individual requesters for research purposes.

Fifty years later and hundreds of millions of reprints and eprint
requests fulfilled uncontested, 63% of journals have already formally
endorsed immediate Green OA self-archiving (which is much more than
fulfilling individual reprint/eprint requests).

So the copyright landscape is indeed changing -- just not in the
negative direction you seem to be worrying about!

> The only way to escape is retaining copyright. This is essential and
> ignoring it is the wrong way.

To repeat: Copyright retention is definitely *not* "essential" for at
least 63% OA + 37% Almost-OA, but it is desirable wherever the author
wishes to negotiate, and succeeds.

> European humanities scholars are not ISI slaves... they
> can publish in golden OA journals without fearing tenure disadvantages
> or can choose journals which will accept e.g. a CC-BY license.

The reason most researchers do not want to choose their journals on
the basis of their copyright policies or their cost-recovery models is
that they want to choose their journals on the basis of their
track-record for quality-standards, which is orthogonal to their
copyright policy or their cost-recovery model.

ISI slavery ended with Scopus, Google Scholar, Citeseerx, Citebase and
soon a wealth of usage statistics such as IRstats and Webometrics and
more (see the work of Bollen and of Thelwall). Soon I hope we will
also be able to offer a book impact index, which will be especially
useful to the humanities, whether European, American, or Antipodean.

But this is all orthogonal to the question under discussion in this
topic thread, which is the fulfillment by authors of individual
reprint/eprint requests for research purposes (of which the "email
eprint request" Button happens to be a particular case).

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sun Aug 02 2009 - 04:05:14 BST

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