---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 12:53:35 +0100 (BST)
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad at coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk>
To: September American Scientist Forum
<SEPTEMBER-FORUM at AMSCI-FORUM.AMSCI.ORG>
Arthur Smith works for the American Physical Society (APS), the
publisher that is (to my knowledge) by far the most enlightened and
progressive of all large learned journal publishers today. Their
example should and will be followed by others. We should all do
whatever we can to further it.
On Fri, 7 May 1999 Arthur Smith <apsmith at APS.ORG> wrote:
>> sh> (2) Is the distinction between allowing free self-archiving of the
> sh> final draft on the "home" server and not the "global" server coherent
> sh> and enforceable?
>> Here's what I understand of the current official policy (I was given
> some more information on this today):
>> (1) The author, as part of the copyright agreement, can post any
> version of the manuscript as created by the author, including the
> final version after revisions suggested by referees, to any distribution
> service that is either free and public, or if not completely free
> is restricted to the author's institution and is not sold commercially
> to other institutions.
I think the APS's commercial restriction is fully justifiable: As long
as APS is footing the bill for it all, there is no reason whatsoever
why anyone else should be able to sell the product and profit from it.
The author's interests are fully served by having only free
> (2) The author, also as part of the copyright agreement, may post the
> final APS-created rendition of the article (PDF file, two-column format
> and all) to a public web site under the control of the author or author's
> institution, accompanied by a statement concerning APS copyright. This
> version is not to be posted in other public areas.
Very reasonable to require the copyright notice and the clear tagging
as an APS-certified paper. However, the interpretation of the
difference between my institutional server and, say, the LANL server,
is incoherent: I control my LANL paper too; I can delete it any time.
Meanwhile, I DON'T control cached versions of my own institutional
server, which are automatically generated everywhere. So the LETTER of
this distinction turns out, at bottom, to be illogical, not just
impracticable. But the SPIRIT of it all seems fine.
> The coherence comes in part from requiring the accompanying copyright
> statement. Not that it would be easy (or very useful) to police.
>> Now we have also seriously considered a license agreement, where the
> author retains full copyright. The only thing that is holding
> that up is some serious concerns about the validity of the language of
> the license under international laws. This may eventually happen,
> in which case the restrictions in policy 2 would probably be lifted.
Fine. It is clear that the APS has the true interests of its authors and
of science at heart, and that these formal details can be worked out.
Would that all or even most publishers felt and behaved in this way!
> We do want to be on the side of the widest possible distribution for
> the BEST scientific articles - somehow, in the past, copyright has
> helped to ensure that excellent work is widely distributed, but it may
> no longer be the best approach now.
Yes, it's the Faustian Bargain I wrote about in '93.
> Anyway, this issue really isn't as critical as you make it out to be.
> If we did allow it, we would not charge for it, it would just be part
> of the copyright or license agreement.
That is abundantly clear. The need to make it coherent and explicit is
more in the interests of setting a clear example for other publishers
than out of any concern about APS's intentions.
Stevan Harnad harnad at cogsci.soton.ac.uk
Professor of Cognitive Science harnad at princeton.edu
Department of Electronics and phone: +44 1703 592-582
Computer Science fax: +44 1703 592-865
University of Southampton http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/
Highfield, Southampton http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/
SO17 1BJ UNITED KINGDOM ftp://ftp.princeton.edu/pub/harnad/
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