An academic journal copyright story

1 minute read

In a post from earlier this summer, info/library scientist Jeffrey Pomerantz describes his attempts to secure a less restrictive copyright agreement for a scholarly article in a special journal volume: “My copyfight”.

I have to stop again briefly here, to point out something very important. [Taylor and Francis] has had all along a License to Publish form. Why had Stacy not mentioned this before? This email exchange had, by this time, been going on for a month. Lets give Stacy the benefit of the doubt: lets assume that she was not being malicious, but that she simply did not know about this License to Publish form until she ran my version by T&Fs lawyers. This is a very significant piece of information for the rep to a journal (almost certainly more than one journal) to not possess. Which means that this is a very significant oversight on the part of T&F, not keeping their journal reps informed. The result of which was that the rep to a journal was unprepared for a situation in which the author demands a less-restrictive copyright agreement.

That didn’t have a happy ending. Pomerantz returned later to the topic, responding to reader suggestions, especially the point about institutional preprint repositories:

Part of the point of OA publication is that the publication is freely accessible to the reader, but equally important is that its discoverable. Freely accessible without discoverability is, quite frankly, close to useless. The problem with most IRs is that they their contents are not discoverable through Google.

They also don’t solve the citation indexing problem. Why can’t institutions manage something with academic papers that is so easily accomplished with blogs?