Israel Scholar Communication Scrolls

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December 02, 2006

Educating Authors to Streamline Open Access Archiving

Dorothea Salo, Feedback, Caveat Lector, November 8, 2006. Excerpt by Peter Suber:

Clearing rights on this pile of papers [to deposit in the institutional repository] is no joke. What should I do with a 20-year-old article in a journal that no longer exists from a publisher that’s been sold two or three times? ...

I’m erring on the side of inclusion and access, with an immediate-withdraw-on-controversy policy (which has saved my bacon before, though not in any copyright disputes) to back me up....

Sure, they’re just-as-illegally up in plain sight on the author’s own piece of the university web, but publishers who tread lightly around their authors won’t hesitate to come down like a ton of bricks on me. Just ask your local e-reserves librarian.

I intend to treat this as a teachable moment, and I strongly recommend that other repository managers do likewise. I’m keeping track of items I can’t use and why I can’t use them. The list will go back to the author when I’m finally done with this pile....

I shall also mention that some of the items I have to reject because they are publisher PDFs can be archived in final-draft form. SHERPA/ROMEO will figure in this statement. And of course I shall offer to look at future publishing agreements with or for him, to keep this problem from occurring in future. We’ll see what happens.

Most faculty do not understand how scholarly publishing works, nor do they realize how what they sign affects what they and others can legally do with their work....Triply do they not realize the control they have over the situation. Those few faculty who do understand all this are mostly scholarly-society brass who tell their colleagues to sign the nice agreement, no, you don’t need to read it!

Despite the extra paperwork and faculty ire involved, repository managers need to acquaint faculty with how much of their work is disappearing into the toll-access abyss, and what they can do about it....Moreover, any repository whose policy on copyright violations does not include mediating between publisher and author is missing a trick. Don’t just “disappear” material that shouldn’t have been posted. Make sure the author knows what happened and why. We have to educate. And we have to educate at pain-points, or nothing will change.

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