This a pretty hot topic, and the changes are happenning as we speak. But lets
remember some things about journal publishing.
1.) It does cost money to physically publish a journal article. The referees
usually work for free, and many of the editors also do so. But the typsetters,
printers, bean counters etc. are not in it for the glory of science. They are in
it as a business. This current controversey may change the life of the publishing
house - for the better or for the worse.
2.) In the "old days" we the writers (or our granting institution or department)
were forced to pay page charges to pay for the act of publishing. That practice is
(gratefully) gone now. The easing of the page charges is wonderful because it does
usher more science into the refereed journals. However, these page charges must
still be made. Now these page charges are subscription charges (or membership
dues). In the "old days" when someone made copies of our paper it meant nothing to
the publisher, since they had already been paid. Now the publisher must wonder
about the erosion of the need to buy journals. If the materials will soon be
available gratis, why subscribe. If we're not careful how we proceed from this
point on we may see the end of refereed literature. No body wants that - Do they?
3.) The Los Alamos example of open-publishing of the literature is not a good
example, and not what most writers are able to get away with. Don't forget that
federal agencies (and Los Alamos still is one) will not allow copyright agreements
that restrict free and open dissemination of their articles .
4.) Lastly, what is the difference between "Pre-refereeing" and "not refereed?" A
academic work has value because it has withstood the scrutiny of peers in the
discipline. Citing literature in a subsequent study depends on the veracity of the
cited article. The veracity depends on the refereeing process. If you are posting
a paper on your personnal web site, AND your name is Stephan J Gould, than there is
not likely to be any problem. If you are posting an article on your personnal web
site, and your name is Frank Reilly, then who is to know if the work is bogus or
Stevan Harnad wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Nov 1999, Marvin Margoshes wrote:
>> sh> It is an awakening to what is actually at stake here for research and
> sh> researchers, and how fundamentally different the copyright function is
> sh> for the fee/royalty-based literature, for which it was intended, as
> sh> opposed to the give-away literature that is at issue here: the refereed
> sh> journal literature.
>> mm> You base your argument on a distinction; does copyright law make that
> mm> distinction? Not to my knowledge, but I'm willing to learn.
>> I base it on a distinction that has only become relevant in the
> PostGutenberg era of online self-archiving of give-away work by its own
>> Older Copyright agreements are not explicit about Web self-archiving by
> the author, hence are moot. Those newer agreements drafted to include
> passages explicitly forbidding Web self-archiving should only be signed
> after striking out those passages (which lately include attempts to
> make incoherent distinctions between permitted archiving on a "personal
> server" and forbidden archiving on a "public server" -- absurd because
> all "personal servers" on the Web are public! These distinctions are
> based on paper publishing categories that simply have no counterpart on
> the Web; hence the mootness of the older agreements).
>> Here are some excerpts from CogPrints' Copyright FAQ for authors:
>> [CogPrints] CogPrints: Copyright Frequently Asked Questions
>> CogPrints is an author's archive; as such, it has the same relation to an
> author's work as the author's home institution does, when that work is
> archived on the home server (as all CogPrints authors are strongly advised
> to do, in addition to archiving it in CogPrints).
>> It is accordingly the author who must adopt a policy about copyright. We can
> only offer some generic advice:
>> 1. A distinction should be made between the unrefereed preprint and the
> refereed, edited, published reprint. No copyright agreement has any
> bearing on the unrefereed preprint, which can be publicly archived
> online before the refereeing even takes place.
>> Hence the rest of the points below pertain only to the refereed,
> edited, published reprint. Preprints can be archived without reference
> to any copyright agreement or publisher.
>> (Note, however, that a minority of journals have indicated that they
> will not referee papers that have been publicly archived online. It is
> not clear whether any attempt has been made to enforce such a policy --
> or indeed whether it would be possible to enforce it at all -- as so
> many authors are archiving their papers publicly on their home servers.
> See http://www.chronicle.com/colloquy/98/copyright/11.htm)
>> 2. If you have not signed a copyright transfer statement that cedes your
> right to publicly archive your own paper online for free, it is not
> clear that there is any problem, but if you wish to confirm this, you
> should inform your publisher that you wish to do so, and request
> confirmation that there is no legal obstacle. Some journals (such as
> all those published by the American Physical Society) explicitly permit
> public online archiving of the final published draft by the author;
> others attempt to specifically forbid it in their copyright agreements.
>> Note that any copyright agreement pertains only to the final, refereed,
> edited draft that appeared or will appear in print. It does not and
> cannot cover pre-refereeing preprints or indeed any penultimate draft
> that preceded the final one. (The nature and size of the requisite
> difference between the two is to all intents and purposes arbitrary.)
>> 3. If you have signed a copyright transfer agreement ceding your right to
> publicly archive your own paper online for free, you should contact
> your publisher indicating that you wish to do so; matters are evolving
> rapidly in this area and publishers may well be coming around to more
> justifiable and enforceable policies.
>> 4. You should not sign any more such agreements. They are completely
> unjustified, and energetic steps are being taken to put an end to them
> as soon as possible. See the current copyright discussions and
> proposals in Science, Nature, American Scientist, and Chronicle of
> Higher Education, respectively:
>> o http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/science.html> o http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/nature.html> o http://amsci-forum.amsci.org/archives/september-forum.html> o http://www.chronicle.com/free/v45/i04/04a02901.htm>> Stefano Ghirlanda of Stockholms Universitet offers the following advice.
>> If you would like to ask a journal to modify their copyright policy so that
> you and possibly others can post your articles on the web, you might find
> the following suggestions helpful.
>> Take the initiative
>> Some journals will accept a copyright agreement different from their
> standard one if asked to, but will not offer a liberal agreement from
> the beginning. We know of several journals that will leave
> non-commerical distribution of a paper unrestricted if the author asks
> for it.
>> Thus, when you get the copyright-transfer form from a journal, just
> send back a different, already signed one with a science-friendly
> policy. You can model your requests after the American Physical
> Society's (APS) policy, which can be found at:
>>ftp://aps.org/pub/jrnls/copy_trnsfr.asc>> A possible sample text is:
>> I hereby transfer to [publisher or journal] all rights to sell or
> lease the text (paper and online) of [paper-title]. I retain only
> the right to distribute it for free for scholarly/scientific or
> educational purposes, in particular, the right to self-archive it
> publicly online on the Web.
>> More precise wording (legally speaking) can be found in the APS policy
> above. It should be clear that only non-commerical distribution will be
> unrestricted, and that the publisher would retain all commerical
>> In case of a "no"
>> If your agreement is declined by the journal, it may prove effective to
> express concern that a too restrictive copyright policy may hinder the
> free circulation of scientific ideas. Say also that people's
> willingness to submit to this or that journal may in the future be
> influenced by their copyright policies.
>> Some journals are owned by scientific associations, but the copyright
> is often managed by a commercial publisher. Try to go through the
> association first, especially if you are or have been a member.
>> You can consider your time well spent even when the publisher fails to
> accept your conditions. It is important that the journals know what an
> author considers an important precondition for submission.
>> Stefano Ghirlanda Stockholms Universitet stefano at zool.su.se> Campaign for the Freedom of Distribution of Scientific Work:
>http://rerumnatura.zool.su.se>> Bachrach S. et al. (1998) Intellectual Property: Who Should Own Scientific
> Papers? Science 281 (5382): 1459-1460. September 4 1998.
>> Below is the American Physical Society's Copyright form. As you will see, it
> does not rule out public archiving of the unrefereed preprint or the
> refereed reprint.
>> Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 14:52:47 -0700 (MST)
> From: Paul Ginsparg 505-667-7353 <ginsparg at qfwfq.lanl.gov>
> Subject: aps copyright
>> THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY
>> Under U.S. copyright law, the transfer of copyright from the author(s)
> should be explicitly stated to enable the publisher to disseminate the work
> to the fullest extent. The following transfer agreement must be signed and
> returned to the APS Editorial Office, 1 Research Road, Box 9000, Ridge, NY
> 11961-9000 before the manuscript can be published. Send requests for further
> information to the Administrative Editor at the above address.
>> TRANSFER OF COPYRIGHT AGREEMENT
>> Copyright to the unpublished and original article and subsequent, if necessary,
> errata, including copyright to the abstract forming part thereof, entitled
>> submitted by the following author(s) (names of all authors)___________________
>> is hereby transferred to The American Physical Society (APS) for the full
> term thereof throughout the world, subject to the following rights that
> the author(s) may freely exercise and to acceptance of the article for
> publication in a journal of APS. APS shall have the right to register
> copyright to the article and the accompanying abstract in its name as
> claimant, whether separately or as part of the journal issue or other medium
> in which such work is included.
>> The author(s) shall have the following rights:
> (1) All proprietary rights other than copyright, such as patent rights.
> (2) The right, after publication by APS, to refuse permission to third parties
> to republish an article or a translation thereof. Those seeking reprint
> permission must seek the author(s)' permission directly, in addition to
> obtaining APS' permission. However, it is not necessary to obtain
> permission from APS [only from the author(s)] to quote excerpts from an
> article or to reprint figures or tables therefrom, as long as no more than
> 25 figures and/or tables from the totality of APS journals are to be
> reprinted in a single publication.
> (3) The right, after publication by APS, to use all or part of the article and
> abstract, without revision or modification, in personal compilations or
> other publications of the author's own works, including the author's
> personal web home page, and to make copies of all or part of such materials
> for the author's use for lecture or classroom purposes, provided that the
> first page of such use or copy prominently displays the bibliographic data
> and the following copyright notice: ``Copyright 19XX by The American
> Physical Society.''
> (4) The right to post and update the article on e-print servers as long as
> files prepared and/or formatted by APS or its vendors are not used for that
> purpose, and as long as access to the server does not depend on payment of
> access, subscription, or membership fees. Any such posting made or updated
> after acceptance of the article for publication shall include a copyright
> notice as in (3).
> (5) If the article has been prepared by an employee within the scope of his or
> her employment, the employer shall have the right to make copies of the
> work for his own internal use. If the article was prepared under a U.S.
> Government contract, the government shall have the rights under the
> copyright to the extent required by the contract.
>> The author(s) agree that all copies of the whole article or abstract made
> under any of the above rights shall include notice of the APS copyright.
>> By signing this agreement, the author(s) warrant that this manuscript has not
> been published elsewhere, and is not being considered for publication
> elsewhere. If each author's signature does not appear below, the signing
> author(s) represent that they sign this agreement as authorized agents for
> and on behalf of all the authors, and that this agreement and authorization
> is made on behalf of all the authors.
> Author's Signature Date
> Name (print)
>> If the manuscript has been prepared as a Work Made For Hire, the transfer
> should be signed by both the employee (above) and the employer (below):
> Name of Employer (print)
> Employer's Signature Name (print) Title Date
>> A work prepared by a U.S. Government officer or employee* as part of his or
> her official duties is not eligible for U.S. copyright. If at least one of
> the authors is not in this category, that author should sign above. If all
> the authors are in this category, one of the authors should sign below, and
> indicate his or her affiliation.
> Author's Signature Institution (e.g., NRL, NIST) Date
>> * Employees of national laboratories, e.g., BNL, are not U.S. Government
> Stevan Harnad harnad at cogsci.soton.ac.uk> Professor of Cognitive Science harnad at princeton.edu> Department of Electronics and phone: +44 23-80 592-582
> Computer Science fax: +44 23-80 592-865
> University of Southampton http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/> Highfield, Southampton http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/> SO17 1BJ UNITED KINGDOM
>> NOTE: A complete archive of this ongoing discussion of "Freeing the
> Refereed Journal Literature Through Online Self-Archiving" is available
> at the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99):
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Internet: freilly at vt.edu