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RE: Princeton bans academics from handing all copyright..

I don't think there is a lot of disagreement anymore among 
scholarly journal publishers about allowing the peer-reviewed but 
not archival version of articles to be posted on institutional 
and personal web sites.  (Most publishers still insist on some 
form of embargo for posting of the archival version, however.)

The proliferation of multiple versions of articles that this 
practice involves creates its own problems, however, and these 
were discussed in the special issue of Against the Grain in its 
April 2011 issue devoted to The Challenges of Bibliographic 
Control and Scholarly Integrity in an Online World of Multiple 
Versions of Journal Articles, which I co-edited with NISO's Todd 


The article below is seriously misleading in at least two ways:

>Prestigious US academic institution Princeton University will 
>prevent researchers from giving the copyright of scholarly 
>articles to journal publishers, except in certain cases where a 
>waiver may be granted.

That is misleading because it treats copyright as a single 
entity, which can be transferred or not only as a whole. whereas 
in fact copyright consists of a bundle of rights of various 
types. It also does not distinguish between exclusive and 
nonexclusive rights.  Only publishers that operate on an 
open-access business model can afford not to have authors 
transfer to them a number of exclusive rights, which being 
exclusive allow the publisher to bring suit for infringement. 
What Princeton and like policies do is to require faculty to 
retain a nonexclusive right for themselves and their universities 
to post a less-than-final version of their articles to the Web. 
They do not at all interfere with any author's right to transfer 
various exclusive rights to a publisher.

>"What will be most telling will be the publishers' response over 
>the next year or so. If they start providing amended agreements 
>to Princeton academics then the door will be open for other 
>universities to follow this lead. I suspect however they will 
>not, as generally the trend seems for publishers to make the 
>open access path a complex and difficult one."

Most publishers will not engage in individual journal contract 
negotiations because that makes for a horribly inefficient and 
wasteful process, which would have to be paid for by increasing 
the subscription price of journals. Instead, most publishers have 
adopted a general policy toward Green OA, which satisfies the 
needs of these university policies, and these publisher policies 
are summarized on Sherpa Romeo's site: 

The last sentence is way out of date, as many commercial and 
non-profit publishers are well along the way toward adopting Gold 
OA business models, especially in light of the tremendous success 
that PLoS One has had.  What universities now need to worry about 
is not whether publishers will resist open access but whether 
they will make it equally costly for universities to support. On 
this point, see Richard Poynder's illuminating interview with 
BioOne's Mark Kurtz:


Sandy Thatcher

>I guess it is my busy day on lib-license.
>I wanted to point out that the language of a "ban" does not
>apparently come from Princeton itself, but from a single blogger,
>to whose post all the stories that use that language point.
>That blogger has now changed the post, including a quote from a
>Princeton official saying that the faculty is not being "banned"
>from anything.  Even the URL has changed; the new one is
>Kevin L. Smith, M.L.S., J.D.
>Director of Scholarly Communications
>Duke University, Perkins Library
>Durham, NC 27708