Copyright: Form, Content, and Prepublication Incarnations

Mike Coleman mkc at
Sun Nov 18 12:47:38 EST 2001

Stevan Harnad <harnad at> writes:
> > Instead of going through many intricate steps, why not just dedicate
> > an article to the public domain in one step and be done with it?
> For the simple reason that publishers rightly balk at publishing
> public-domain texts. The authors of unrefereed preprints want them to
> be refereed and accepted for publication as refereed postprints.
> Publishers need at least a license to publish, if not full transfer
> of copyright. But neither can be given by an author whose text is already
> public domain.

I would agree that putting the articles into the public domain may not be the
best strategy, but I don't see why this would prevent publication by a
journal.  If something has been placed into the public domain, *anyone* can
publish it, correct?


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