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RE: May issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter

Unfortunately, Heather Morrison simply misunderstands the 
position. Publishers may decide to reject an article that has 
been accepted by the journal editor for a variety of reasons, 
some of which are simply good academic practice.  They include, 
but are not limited to:

1.  Plagiarism, brought to the publisher's notice, though it was 
missed by reviewers and the editor.

2.  Breach of copyright.

3.  Libel.

4.  Obscenity or breach of some other rule of law.

Academic freedom does not exist in a vacuum.  It does not mean 
academic licence.  No responsible publisher excludes articles 
other than on substantive grounds.  In my experience both as a 
publisher and as an adviser to many publishers, these issues 
arise with greater frequency than you might suspect.  In 
particular, plagiarism is a growing problem.  And 2, 3 and 4 
above may have direct legal and financial consequences for the 
publisher. Is Heather suggesting that publishers should ignore 

John Cox

Managing Director
John Cox Associates Ltd
Rookwood, Bradden
Towcester, Northamptonshire
NN12 8ED
United Kingdom
E-mail: John.E.Cox@btinternet.com
Web: www.johncoxassociates.com

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Heather Morrison
Sent: 19 May 2010 23:21
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: RE: May issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter

Sandy Thatcher wrote:

I should think that it falls within the scope of a publisher's 
business decision making to exclude certain categories of 
articles if they believe that including them in their journals 
will do economic damage to them. The editors, of course, may 
object, and they are always free to disassociate themselves from 
any journal whose publisher takes this stance.

Heather's Comment:

Excluding articles on the basis that they will do economic damage 
to the journal is a recipe for disaster for academic freedom. If 
this is what Sandy indeed meant, then every Editor, Reader, 
Reviewer, and Librarian should immediately dissociate themselves 
with each and every one of such journals.  But perhaps Sandy's 
meaning is not exactly as stated here?

Heather Morrison, MLIS
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics