Open online access Re: Giving reprints

Geoff Read at
Thu Feb 21 19:26:04 EST 2002

I wrote:
> > we must all try to make our publications freely available on the 
> > internet - it's called "self-archiving", 

Nancy wrote:
> Is copyright an issue with this?  It is my understanding that, as part of
> the publication process, we transfer copyright to the journal that
> publishes our work.  This would mean that photocopying a paper for
> distribution would be illegal, as would distributing electronic copies.  

But of course. Online distribution requires pre-planning and negotiation 
with the publisher (read the fine print on your favourite journal).  After all an 
official PDF from the publisher is what people want.  

I believe there is a trend to some loosening of this publisher stranglehold. 
Then there are also preprints. Also publishers are going to have a hard 
time tracking people who get hold of a PDF of their own published paper 
and distribute it on demand by e-mail. That's almost the same as 
photocopying & mailing which everyone does without thought. One could 
also do a CD-Rom collected reprints to save on postage.  But putting a 
copyright article on a web page without permission may not be a good idea 
if you prefer to keep out of trouble.     

> Perhaps journals should offer "electronic reprints."  

They do. Just about anything is available - for a price.

  Geoff Read < at>

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