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RE: Scholarly Publishing Groups Issue White Paper on

I can fully agree with the Robert K. Merton quote. However, 
Armbruster's 'warning' that "publishers that insist on transfer 
of copyright are out of sync with the norms and economics of 
science" seems to me a non-sequitur.

Copyright transfer is merely a way of payment for formal 
publishing of research results. It's a roundabout, indirect, and 
sub-optimal way to pay for formal publication. But, formal, 
peer-reviewed publishing carries costs and has to be paid for. 
Either directly, with money, ensuring open access ('gold' OA), or 
indirectly, by transferring copyright (but then accepting that 
publisher must be able to monetise that copyright in order to 
cover their costs by selling subscriptions -- and, as it is a 
cost-related system, that prices may be inversely prop= ortional 
to subscription levels).

Jan Velterop

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu on behalf of Armbruster, 
Sent: Sat 5/19/2007 12:56 AM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: RE: Scholarly Publishing Groups Issue White Paper on

For Michael Mabe and this list I have the following quotation 
>From Robert K. Merton, which goes way back to 1942 and his 
thoughts on the norms of science and the compatibility of science 
and democracy:

"The substantive findings of science are a product of social
collaboration and are assigned to the community. They constitute
a common heritage in which the equity of the individual producer
is severely limited. An eponymous law or theory does not enter
into the exclusive possession of the discoverer and heirs, nor do
the mores bestow upon them special rights of use and disposition.
Property rights in science are whittled down to the bare minimum
by the rationale of the scientific ethic. Scientists claim to
'their' intellectual property are limited to those of recognition
and esteem which, if the institution functions with a modicum of
efficiency, are roughly commensurate with the significance of the
increments brought to the common fund of knowledge."

I have argued that publishers need to understand that in future 
they will need to make their profits from nonexclusive licensing 
in a competitive market. Then commercial publishing and open 
science will be in sync again.

Rephrased as a warning: Publishers that insist on transfer of 
copyright are out of sync with the norms and economics of 

Chris Armbruster