Tuesday, November 25. 2008
Comment on EU Green Paper:I am commenting only on the bearing of EC policy on one specific body of content: The 2.5 million articles per year published in the world's 25,000 peer-reviewed research journals in all fields of science and scholarship.
The authors of all these articles neither receive nor seek royalty or fees from access-tolls to their users or their users' institutions. These authors only seek that these research findings should be accessed and used as fully and widely and possible, to the benefit of research progress and applications, and hence to the benefit of the society that funds their research and their institutions.
Making this specific body of research accessible free for all on the Web ("Open Access") will maximise its usage and impact. It does not require a major or even minor reform in copyright law. All it requires is that the authors of these 2.5 million annual peer-reviewed research articles make them open access by depositing them in their own institution's/university's Repository. Sixty-three percent of journals already formally endorse depositing the author's final, revised, peer-reviewed draft in their institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication, and immediately making that deposited draft accessible free for all.
For that 63% of articles, it should be evident that no copyright reform whatsoever is needed. What is needed is that the authors' institutions and funders mandate (require) that they deposit and make them Open Access immediately upon acceptance by those journals.
The remaining 37% of articles can also be deposited in the author's institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication, but unless their publisher endorses making them immediately Open Access, the deposit has to be set initially as Closed Access (accessible only institution-internally, to the author and his employer).
It is here that legislation can help, although it is not certain that even that is necessary: A Europe-wide law requiring that publicly-funded research and research produced by employees of publicly funded universities must be made openly accessible will exert the requisite pressure on the remaining 37% journals so that they too should endorse that the deposited articles are immediately made Open Access rather than Closed Access.
Note that peer-reviewed research is fundamentally unlike books, textbooks, software, music, and videos. It is in its very essence author give-away content, written only to be used, applied and built-upon. Unlike the creators of the other kinds of content, all the authors of the annual 2.5 million peer-reviewed journal articles want them to be free to all would-be users.
Hence, whatever rationale there may be for changing copyright law for all the other kinds of digital content, in the case of the target content of the Open Access movement, no change is necessary other than a formal publisher endorsement of making the author's final draft freely accessible online.
Free online access provides for the following forms of usage: Being able to find online, link, view online, download, store, print-off (for individual use) and data-mine. These uses all come automatically all come automatically with free online access. Open Access content is also harvested by search engines like google.
But there are further uses, over and above these, that some fields of research feel they need, including modification and republication. It is likely that free online access will moot the need for copyright modification to guarantee these further uses, but there is no harm in trying to stipulate them formally in advance, as long as it is not treated as a prerequisite for Open Access, of for Open Access Mandates.
COPYRIGHT REFORM SHOULD NOT BE MADE A PRECONDITION FOR MANDATING OPEN ACCESS
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Thursday, November 13. 2008
Copyright Regulation in Europe – An Enabling or Disabling Factor for Science Communication
Urheberrechtsregulierung als Ermöglichungs-bzw. als Verhinderungsfaktor für Wissenschaftskommunikation
European Network for Copyright in Support of Education
European Workshop Program
Nov. 14-15, 2008
Location: Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Schumannstr. 8, Berlin-Mitte, Germany
Thursday – Nov. 13, 2008
21:00 – 22:30 Chimney talk : Jerzy Montag, MP,spokesman for law politics, BÜNDNIS90/DIE GRÜNEN (Green Party) in the German Parliament
Friday - Nov. 14, 2008
9:00 – 9:15 Ralf Fücks, Andreas Poltermann, Heinrich-Böll-Foundation
Welcome addresses, Introduction to the conference
9:15 – 9:30 All participants Introduction
Session 1: Copyright and science – Demands and objectives
Moderation: Rainer Kuhlen
9:30 – 10:15 Rainer Kuhlen, University of Konstanz (Germany)
Copyright and science – Demands and objectives
10:15 – 10:45 Gerhard Fröhlich, University of Linz (Austria)
Free copying or plagiarism?
10:30 – 11:00 Panel discussion:
Rainer Kuhlen, Gerhard Fröhlich, Stuart Taylor, The Royal Society (United Kingdom), Florin Filip, Academy of Romania (Romania), Agnès Ponsati, CSIC Library Network, Spanish National Research Council (Spain)
Session 2: Exceptions and limitations or a copyright blanket clause for science
Moderation: Wolf-Dieter Sepp
11:30 – 12:00 Lucie Guibault, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
A framework for an obligatory system of exceptions and limitations
12:00 – 12:30 Séverine Dusollier, University of Namur (Belgium)
A systematic approach to exceptions in the European Union
12:30 – 13:00 Panel discussion:
Lucie Guibault, Séverine Dusollier, María J. Iglesias, University of Namur (Belgium), Jaak Järv, Estonian Academy of Sciences (Estonia), Benjamin Bajon, Max-Planck-Institut für Geistiges Eigentum, Wettbewerbs-und Steuerrecht (Germany)
Session 3: Open Access – An alternative to or a replacement for copyright
Moderation: Lucie Guibault
14:00 – 14:30 Stevan Harnad, UQAM (Canada) & University of Southampton (United Kingdom) (via teleconference)
Copyright Reform Should Not Be Made A Precondition For Mandating Open Access
14:30 – 15:00 Hélène Bosc, Euroscience Open Access Working (France)
Open access to the scientific literature: a peer commons open to the public
15:00 – 15:30 Panel discussion:
Stevan Harnad, Hélène Bosc, Rainer Kuhlen, Ji•i Rákosník, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Czech Republic), Jaak Järv, Estonian Academy of Sciences (Estonia)
Session 4: The Green Paper "Copyright in the Knowledge Economy"
Moderation: Gerald Spindler, University of Göttingen (Germany)
16:00 – 16:30 Rainer Kuhlen, Information Science, University of Konstanz (Germany)
Introduction to Green Paper
16:30 – 18:00 Workshop:
Green Paper on "Copyright in the Knowledge Economy"; elaboration of a common statement
Saturday – Nov 15, 2008
Session 5: Science communication and collaboration
Moderation: Michael Seadle, Institute for Library and Information Science, HU Berlin
9:30 – 10:00 Paul Ayris (UK), UNICA Scholarly Communications Group
The future of scholarly publication
10:00 – 10:30 Panel discussion:
Paul Ayris, Gerhard Fröhlich, University of Linz (Austria), Ágnes Téglási, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungary), Rosa Nyárády, UNESCO chair in communication (Hungary), Ján Bako•, Slovak Academy of Sciences (Slovakia)
Session 6: Founding of the ENCES network: European Network for Copyright in support of Education and Science
Moderation: Rainer Kuhlen, University of Konstanz (Germany)
11:00 – 12:00 Workshop:
Green Paper "Copyright in the Knowledge Economy"; common statement and forming of ENCES ( = European Network for Copyright in support of Education and Science)
Tuesday, September 30. 2008
See this letter from 46 law professors and specialists in copyright law for a brilliant defense of the NIH Green OA Self-Archiving Mandate against the absurd charges of the publisher's lobby and its attorneys in the Conyers Bill.
I generally avoid the legal aspects of OA because I can see so clearly that 100% Green OA can be quickly and easily achieved without having to waste a single minute on legal obstacles (via the IDOA Mandate). But this is such an articulate and rigorous set of legal arguments that I could not resist posting them further just for the delight of the ineluctable logic alone.
Read, enjoy, admire, and rest assured that whether via the legalisticroute or just good, practical sense, OA will prevail. It is optimal, inevitable, and irresistible. The anti-OA lobby is wasting its money in trying to invoke law or laws to stop it; at best, they can just buy a bit more time. (But if universities and funders opt directly for IDOA mandates, that will deny the anti-OA lobby even that.)
American Scientist Open Access Forum
PS Unless I am mistaken, one detects the unseen legal hand and mind of Peter Suber, plus a goodly dose of the seen hand and mind of Michael Carroll in the drafting of this legal and logical masterpiece.
Wednesday, July 2. 2008
From the OAK Law Project, an OA Guide for Authors written by Kylie Pappalardo (with the assistance of Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Professor Anne Fitzgerald, Scott Kiel-Chisholm, Jenny Georgiades and Anthony Austin):
"Understanding Open Access in the Academic Environment: A Guide for Authors [by Kylie Pappalardo (with the assistance of Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Professor Anne Fitzgerald, Scott Kiel-Chisholm, Jenny Georgiades and Anthony Austin)] aims to provide practical guidance for academic authors interested in making their work more openly accessible to readers and other researchers. The guide provides authors with an overview of the concept of and rationale for open access to research outputs and how they may be involved in its implementation and with what effect. In doing so it considers the central role of copyright law and publishing agreements in structuring an open access framework as well as the increasing involvement of funders and academic institutions. The guide also explains different methods available to authors for making their outputs openly accessible, such as publishing in an open access journal or depositing work into an open access repository. Importantly, the guide addresses how open access goals can affect an author’s relationship with their commercial publisher and provides guidance on how to negotiate a proper allocation of copyright interests between an author and publisher. A Copyright Toolkit is provided to further assist authors in managing their copyright."
Monday, May 19. 2008
Peter Murray-Rust is quite right that ACS is likely to be the very last of all publishers to go Green on OA self-archiving, but he is mistaken about most of the others on his list:Peter Murray-Rust: “Most chemistry publishing is closed access, not even allowing Green self-archiving (unless paid for). There is no sign that any of the major closed publishers (ACS, RSC, Wiley, Springer, Elsevier, Nature) are likely to change in the immediate future.”
(1) Pale-green means the publisher endorses the self-archiving of the author’s draft but not the final refereed postprint (though often what the publisher really means by the postprint is the publisher’s PDF).
The difference between the author’s penultimate draft and the final, refereed draft is of course a purely notional one, and no faintly coherent case for the distinction could ever be made in a court of law. So although some superstitious authors make a distinction between pale-green publishers and green publishers, of course there is in reality no substantive difference: Both have given their blessing to the self-archiving of the author’s final draft.
(Gray does indeed mean neither Gold nor Green. But Gold OA publishers are of course, a fortiori, also Green. So the only relevant distinction at issue is Green vs. not-Green.)
(2) The RSC has some right royal double-talk in its contracts. They say they endorse self-archiving on the author’s “personal website”, but not the author’s “institutional repository”:
“When the author signs the exclusive Licence to Publish for a journal article, he/she retains certain rights that may be exercised without reference to the RSC. He/she may…This is of course arbitrary gibberish, and again only for the credulous and the superstitious. All RSC authors can self-archive their final drafts in their own IRs with perfect impunity. A “personal website” is merely a disk sector label. For the pedant, the university can (as Southampton ECS has done since 2002) formally declare an author’s IR disk sector to be the author’s “personal website”:
“3e. Copyright agreements may state that eprints can be archived on your personal homepage. As far as publishers are concerned, the EPrint Archive is a part of the Department’s infrastructure for your personal homepage.”In a few years we will be giggling shame-facedly at the stuff and nonsense that kept (most of) us from going ahead and doing the optimal, inevitable and obvious for so long.
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Thursday, April 10. 2008
Robert Kiley [Wellcome Trust] wrote:
"Conscious that this licence only extends to "gold" OA articles, the Trust is continuing to work with publishers to explore the possibility of developing a similar licence for author manuscripts."
It's important that everyone understand clearly what is at issue here:
(1) The Wellcome Trust, the world's first research funder to mandate OA, has not only mandated Green OA self-archiving, but has also made funds available to authors to pay their publishers to make their articles Gold OA, in order to make them not just price-barrier-free (Green OA) but also permissions-barrier-free.
(2) This means that non-OA publishers, while continuing to receive full subscription revenue, are paid extra fees by Wellcome in exchange for the extra usage rights.
(3) There is no question that these extra usage rights are welcome and useful.
(4) The question is whether they are worth the extra money at this time.
(5) The problem is not only that the extra money is being diverted from research funds (at a time when research funds are getting ever scarcer and harder to come by).
(6) The problem is also that paying the publishers extra money is not a solution that scales: Wellcome may be able to afford it, but what about all the rest of the world's research output, unfunded by Wellcome?
(7) Can all funders afford (and do they wish) to divert scarce research funds to pay for extra publisher costs?
(8) And what about unfunded research?
(9) Can universities afford (and do they wish) to adopt OA mandates that also entail paying publishers extra fees? Should they want to?
(10) Perhaps most important: Are these extra (welcome, useful) usage rights worth making a fuss about just now, when we do not yet even have universal Green OA, or universal Green OA mandates?
(11) Will fussing about "fair use is not enough" at this time increase or decrease the probability that the world's research institutions and funders converge on a scaleable strategy that will at least deliver universal Green OA (at long last)?
(12) To repeat: It is not that the extra usage rights are not useful, desirable and welcome, nor that a large private research funder like Wellcome is not to be commended for being willing to put both their efforts and their money behind securing them.
(13) It is that this is not the time to focus on what universal Green OA mandates will not deliver.
(14) It is the time to put our full collective weight behind the solution that will scale up to deliver universal Green OA.
(15) (It is virtually certain that universal Green OA itself will then go on to usher in the extra usage rights -- at no extra charge.)
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Wednesday, April 9. 2008
I think it would be a big strategic mistake if today, when the cupboards are still 85% bare, we were to start insisting that deposits must all be Cordon Bleu ****.
OA just means free online access to the full-text of refereed journal articles. Please let's not risk getting less by needlessly insisting on more. The rest will come in due time, but what is urgently needed today, and what is still 85% overdue by more than 10 years today, is free online access. Let the Green OA mandates provide that, and the rest will all come naturally with the territory soon enough of its own accord.
But over-reach gratuitously now, and we will just delay the optimal and inevitable, already within our reach, still longer.
Ceterum Censeo: The BBB "definitions" (which were not brought down to us by Moses from On High, but puttered together by muddled mortals, including myself) are not etched in stone, and need some tweaking to get them right.
The further "rights" for 3rd-party databases to data-mine and re-publish will come after universal Green OA mandates generate universal OA (free online access). But you'll never get universal Green OA mandates if you insist in advance that the 3rd-party re-use rights must be part of the mandate! (Notice that the Harvard mandate has an opt-out, which means it's not a mandate.)
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Wednesday, April 2. 2008
[See also the original posting to which this is a follow-up: Part I.]
Re: "Physicists slam publishers over Wikipedia ban" and "Traditional journals and copyright transfer"
Following an exchange of correspondence with Jonathan Oppenheim and Bill Unruh about the above posting, I want to stress that I agree completely with Jonathan Oppenheim's and Bill Unruh's ends:
(1) Derivative Works. Authors should be able to publish new articles which "differ in some reasonable way from the original work, even while possibly retaining much of the original."
I also think APS authors can already do this, and that APS would no more try to prosecute its authors for this practice than it tried to prosecute them for practicing self-archiving (before APS went on to adapt to evolving practice by formally adopting its Green OA policy, the first Green OA publisher policy, and a model for them all).
With derivative works too, formal APS policy will eventually adapt to evolving practice that is to the benefit of research progress in physics. Let practice again precede and guide precept.
(Note that published postprints are in fact "derivative works" relative to unpublished preprints.)
(2) Creative Commons Licensing. I am also fully in favor of CC licensing -- but not as a precondition for OA self-archiving today. All authors should adopt the CC license of their choice whenever they can. And where they cannot, they should just go ahead and self-archive under the Green publisher's current copyright agreement.
(If the publisher is not Green, authors should immediately deposit anyway; and if they wish to set access to their deposit as Closed Access instead of OA during an embargo period, they should rely on their repository's semi-automatic "email eprint request" Button to provide almost-immediate, almost-OA for all would-be users during any publisher embargo.)
(I do believe, though, that CC licensing will prevail as a matter of natural course, after universal OA has prevailed.)
So whereas I agree with Jonathan's and Bill's ends, I do not agree with their means.
Rather than trying to force an immediate formal policy change (if APS feels it needs more time to think it through), I think Jonathan and Bill should just go ahead and practice what they seek to practice: publish new articles which differ in some reasonable way from the original work, even while possibly retaining much of the original, or post them to wikis like Quantiki if they wish. APS formal precept will again follow evolving practice in due course, as it did with author self-archiving.
(By the way, the meaning of the enigmatic title "The American Physical Society is Not the Culprit: We Are" was of course that the reason we don't yet have universal OA [and all that follows from it] is that we are not yet universally self-archiving: I have dubbed this "Zeno's Paralysis.")
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Thursday, March 27. 2008
[See also follow-up message: Part II.]
"Physicists slam publishers over Wikipedia ban"I have some doubts about the accuracy of this New Scientist piece. What exactly is it that the American Physical Society (APS) is being alleged to be refusing to do?
The APS is the first publisher that endorsed OA self-archiving. It is the greenest of green publishers. APS authors are encouraged to post their unrefereed preprints as well as their refereed postprints, free for all, on the web.
So what exactly is the fuss about?
"Scientists who want to describe their work on Wikipedia should not be forced to give up the kudos of a respected journal.""Describe" their work on Wikipedia? What does that mean? Of course they can describe their work (published or unpublished) on Wikipedia, or anywhere else.
And what has that to do with giving up the kudos of a respected journal?
Does this passage really mean to say "post the author's version to Wikipedia verbatim?" APS does not mind, but Wikipedia minds, because Wikipedia does not allow the posting of copyrighted work to Wikipedia.
Solution: Revise the text, so it's no longer the verbatim original but a new work the author has written, based on his original work. That can be posted to Wikipedia (but may soon be unrecognizably transformed -- for better or worse -- by legions of Wikimeddlers, some informed, some not). It's a good idea to cite the original canonical APS publication, though, just for the record.
Still nothing to do with APS.
"So says a group of physicists who are going head-to-head with a publisher because it will not allow them to post parts of their work to the online encyclopaedia, blogs and other forums."In a (free) online encyclopedia that would provide the author's original final draft, verbatim, and unalterable by users, there would be no problem (if the encyclopedia does not insist on copyright transfer) as long as there is a link to the original publication at the APS site.
Blogs and Forums (again on condition that the text itself cannot be bowdlerized by users, or re-sold) will be treated by APS as just another e-print server.
"The physicists were upset after the American Physical Society withdrew its offer to publish two studies in Physical Review Letters because the authors had asked for a rights agreement compatible with Wikipedia."This is now no longer about the right to post and re-post one's own published APS papers on the Web, it is about satisfying Wikipedia's copyright policy by going against APS's extremely liberal copyright policy. I side with APS. Let Wikipedia bend on this one, and let the text be posted (and then gang-rewritten as everyone sees fit). I see no reason why APS should have to alter its already sufficiently liberal policy to suit Wikipedia.
"The APS asks scientists to transfer their copyright to the society before they can publish in an APS journal. This prevents scientists contributing illustrations or other "derivative works" of their papers to many websites without explicit permission."APS already says authors can post their entire work just about anywhere on the web without explicit permission. And they can rewrite and republish their work too. This fuss is about formality, not substance.
"The authors of the rescinded papers and 38 other physicists are calling for the APS to change its policy. 'It is unreasonable and completely at odds with the practice in the field. Scientists want as broad an audience for their papers as possible,' says Bill Unruh at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, who has been lobbying separately against strict copyright rules."What possible online audience is broader than the entire Web, which is what you get when you make your article OA?
If we're going to lobby against strict copyright rules, let's pick any of the Gray, or even the Pale-Green publishers in Romeo. But lets leave the Green ones like APS alone until all publishers are at least as green as they are.
And if you are going to lobby against copyright rules, make sure it is about a matter of substance and not just form.
"'To tell us what we can do with our paper is completely at odds with practice in the field' Gene Sprouse, editor-in-chief of the APS journals, says the society plans to review its copyright policy at a meeting in May. 'A group of excellent scientists has asked us to consider revising our copyright, and we take them seriously,' he says."I am certain that the APS will accommodate all requests that are to the benefit of science, as they always have. I'm not always sure those who are lobbying for copyright reform really know what they want (or need) either. I trust them more if they say that they have made all their papers OA by self-archiving them. If they have not, yet they are still fussing, then they might be thinking of Disney re-mixes rather than science.
"Some publishers, such as the UK's Royal Society, have already adopted copyright policies that allow online reproduction."The APS has long had a far more liberal OA policy than the Royal Society, a reluctant late-comer to OA.
There is something being misreported or misunderstood here.
A journal's copyright transfer agreement is only too restrictive if it tries to disallow author self-archiving of the accepted, refereed final draft (the "postprint"), free for all on the Web, where any user webwide can access, read, download, print-out, store, and data-mine the full-text for any research purpose whatsoever. That is what is called "Open Access."
Journals that have a policy that formally endorses immediate and permanent author self-archiving of the postprint are called "Green" journals. There is a directory of the policies of the 10,000 principal journals regarding OA self-archiving: 62% of them are Green; 28% are "Pale-Green" (endorsing the self-archiving of pre-refereeing preprints, but not refereed postprints) and 9% are Gray (disallowing the self-archiving of either preprints or postprints).
The American Physical Society (APS) is fully Green; it is the first Green publisher and helped set the example for the rest of the Green publishers.
If anything needs changing today it's the policy of the 9% of journals that are Gray and the 28% that are Pale-Green, not the 62% that are Green.
Once all publishers are Green, and all authors are making their papers OA by self-archiving them, copyright agreements will come into phase with the new OA reality, and everything that comes with that territory. For that to happen, authors doing -- and publishers endorsing -- OA self-archiving is all that is necessary. There is no need to over-reach and insist on reforming copyright agreements.
NB: Whenever and wherever an author does succeed in retaining copyright, or a publisher does agree to just requesting a non-exclusive license rather than a total copyright transfer, that is always very welcome and valuable. But it is not necessary at this time, and over-reaching for it merely makes the task of securing the real necessity -- which is a Green self-archiving policy -- all the more difficult.
In particular, pillorying the APS, which was the earliest and most progressive of Green publishers, is not only unjust, but weakens the case against Gray publishers, who will triumphantly point out that they are justified in not going Green, because the demands of authors are excessive, unnecessary, and unreasonable, as they are not even satisfied with Green OA (and most don't even bother to self-archive)!
The problem for the worldwide research community is not the minority (about 15%, mostly concentrated in computer science and physics) who are already spontaneously making their articles OA by self-archiving them, but the vast majority (85%, across all disciplines, including even some areas of physics) who are not.
Moreover, there is something special about the longstanding practice in some parts of physics of posting and sharing unrefereed preprints: That practice is definitely not for all fields. Hence the universally generalizable component of the physicists' practice is the OA self-archiving of the refereed postprint. Posting one's unrefereed preprints will always be a contingent matter, depending on subject matter and author temperament. (Personally, I'm all for it for my own papers!)
There has been a big technical change since the first days of Arxiv. The online archives or repositories have been made interoperable by the OAI metadata harvesting protocol. Hence it is no longer necessary or even desirable to try to create an Arxiv-like central archive for each field, subfield, and interfield: Each researcher has an institution. Free software creates an OAI-compliant Institutional Repository (IR) where the authors in all fields at that institution can deposit all their papers. The OAI-compliant IRs are all interoperable (including Arxiv), and can then be searched and accessed through harvesters such as OAIster, Citebase, Citeseer or Google Scholar.
Institutional IRs also have the advantage that institutions (like Harvard) can mandate self-archiving for all their disciplines, thereby raising the 15% spontaneous (postprint) self-archiving rate to 100%. Research funders (like NIH) can reinforce institutional OA self-archiving mandates too.
The objective fact today is that all physicists, self-archiving or not, are still submitting their papers for refereeing and publication in peer-reviewed journals. Nothing whatsoever has changed in that regard. The only objective difference is that today (1) 15% of all authors self archive their postprints, and among some physics communities, (2) most are also self-archiving their preprints.
The OA movement is dedicated to generalizing the former practice (1) (self-archiving peer-reviewed postprints, so they can be accessed and used by all potential users, not just those whose institutions happen to be able to afford to subscribe to the journal in which they were published) to 100% of researchers, across all disciplines, worldwide.
Radical publishing reform -- like radical copyright reform -- are another matter, and may or may not eventually follow after we first have 100% OA. But for now, it is a matter of speculation, whereas postprint self-archiving is a reachable matter of urgency.
The physicists, from the very outset, had the good sense not to give it a second thought whether they were self-archiving with or without their journal's blessing. They just went ahead and did it!
But most researchers in other fields did not; and still don't, even today, when 62% of journals have given it their official blessing.
That's why self-archiving mandates are needed. (Author surveys have shown that over 90% of authors, in all fields, would comply, over 80% of them willingly -- but without a mandate they are simply too busy to bother -- just as in the case of the "publish or perish" mandate: if their promotion committees didn't require and reward publishing, many wouldn't bother to do that either!)
What is needed now is not to make a campaign of trying to force APS to change its copyright policy. What is needed now is to generalize APS's Green OA self-archiving policy to all publishers.
And to generalize the existing 39 university and funder Green OA (postprint) self-archiving mandates to all universities and funders.
The rest (copyright reform and publishing reform) will then take care of itself.
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Wednesday, November 21. 2007
In Newsweek, Brian Braiker discusses some interesting and important copyright, licensing and re-use issues -- about books re-using wikipedia material without attribution, about blogs posting published journal figures, about the re-use of free-culture text, photographs and music -- but it is important to understand that these are not Open Access (OA) issues.
OA primarily concerns the very special case of research articles published in peer-reviewed journals (about 2.5 million articles a year, in about 25,000 journals). All those articles, without exception, are (and always have been) author give-aways, written exclusively for maximal research usage and impact, not for royalty revenue. OA means making them freely accessible online to all would-be users webwide (for reading, downloading, storing, printing-off, data-crunching, using the findings in further research, building upon them, citing them -- but not necessarily for verbatim re-publication or re-posting of the text or figures -- beyond quoting limited verbatim text excerpts, with attribution, under "Fair Use": more than that still requires the author's permission).
OA does not require adopting a special CC attribution/re-use license (although if desired by the author and accepted by the publisher, such a license is always welcome). Nor does OA require the kinds of blanket mix-and-match re-use rights that teenagers might like to have for making and posting their own creative re-mixes out of commercial music or movies. That is a problem, but not an OA problem.
It is not even clear whether a blanket right to mix-and-match scientific content (even with attribution) would be a good thing. (Figures need not be re-posted, for example; the OA version can be linked; HTML even allows pinpoint linking to the specific figure rather than to the document as a whole.)
What sets OA's primary target apart is that it is an exception-free give-away corpus, wanting only to be read and used (but not necessarily re-published). It should not be conflated with or constrained by the needs of the much larger and more complicated and exception-ridden body of creative digital work of which it is merely a small, special subset.
American Scientist Open Access Forum
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