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I did not believe that Jan had actually coined this phrase but I have
checked and he did and what a good term "minutes of science" is. As he
points out science is built on previous knowledge.

I have a question for him and for this list. For Professor Harnad and his
disciplines the authentic form of the message of the scientist is the
postprint (as he has named it) - the form of the message that has
(finally) been accepted for publication. This is the so-called vanilla
form. BMC publish this vanilla form. PLOS and the great majority of other
refereed journals go through another iteration before publishing. It is
called "copy-editing" - an unfortunate term because somehow it makes one
thinks of correcting references and putting in commas. Of course
correcting references is necessary to make linking possible. Putting in
commas irons out ambiguities. There are also (as I am sure PLOS staff)
would agree major work necessary to get the paper in final form after the
peer review has done its work. PLOS would not have gone for this extra
expence if they did not find that their community wanted this extra work.

My question for Jan and others is - what is the authentic form of the
minutes when there are two versions with some sort of external
creditation. There is the version in the institutional repository,
accepted by those who run those repositories, and there is the "published"
version. I would suggest that authors see the published version as the
authentic version (though I have no evidence for that other than what the
authors and editors say to me and to other publishers). This is clearly
not a question for BMC because the versions are identical but what do PLOS
and its supporters think?

Anthony Watkinson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jan Velterop" <velterop@biomedcentral.com>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 3:14 AM
Subject: RE: Monopolies and copyright (RE: Wellcome Trust report)

>> From: Rick Anderson [mailto:rickand@unr.edu]
>>> In an article I wrote in 1995 I called reporting these results
>>> 'keeping the minutes of science'. They have the kind of quality of a
>>> witness account, an affidavit. Are witness accounts copyrighted? Maybe
>>> they are.
>>  First of all, yes, they are (if fixed in a tangible medium of 
>>  expression).  Second of all, isn't it a bit disingenuous to 
>>  characterize the publication of original research as the functional 
>>  equivalent of "keeping minutes"?  If you spent five years developing 
>>  original recipes and then wrote a cookbook based on them, would you 
>>  simply be "keeping the minutes of culinary progress"?
> 'Keeping the minutes of science' is perhaps a bit of a simplification, but
> not disingenuous, I think. Record keeping is very important in the
> collaborative, incremental and cumulative process that the scientific
> pursuit is. Most science is explicitly, overtly, and necessarily built on
> previous knowledge. Might it be a little disingenuous to compare science
> with developing cooking recipes?
>>> The law gives every author copyright whether they want it or not.
>> Yes, copyright is granted automatically; the law is written on the
>> assumption that a person who does the work necessary to create
>> information will wish to retain some limited rights in regard to that
>> information. However, the law hardly forces authors to retain those
>> rights.
> Indeed not. In the traditional model they readily and seemingly
> unquestioningly transfer it to the publisher, retaining not even limited
> rights.
>> It takes little or no effort to make one's original work freely
>> available to the public for unrestricted redistribution, adaptation,
>> etc.
> Precisely. That's exactly how authors use their copyright when they
> publish with open access.
> Jan Velterop