Entries for April 05, 2006

Scientific Publishing, the Internet, & Copyright

Andrew Kantor (USA Today, 3/23/2006) highlighted the major issues facing scientific publishing and the role the Internet has played.

Lets look further at the state of scientific publishing...

First, the procedure of traditional publishing is flawed from the eyes of libraries. An author freely gives their article to a publisher, and the publishers sells it at a profit. The author's library than purchases the content that was originally available within the organization. The author may have signed over full rights of the article to the publisher, thus the library has to pay for something that should have been available internally for free.

What advantages are provided by traditional publications? Basically, you are looking at name recognition and a system of distribution. I think it is fairly obvious how the Internet is changing those systems.

Kantor looks at several changes that are developing already. For example, the open access publishing movement, as demonstrated by the Public Library of Science.

Coming across this article was perfect timing. Kenneth Crews, Director of the Copyright Management Center just spoke at the Kelvin Smith Library on Tuesday, April 4th. He expressed how copyright laws are driven by international pressures, money, and many other factors. He pushed hard for authors to manage their copyright rights in order to meet the needs of their organizations and themselves well into the future. It is the one time, during author to publisher negotiations, that publishers can be convinced to change their ways.

(Originally shared on Open Access News, March 23, 2006)