RE: Copyright: keep or assign to publishers

Subject: RE: Copyright: keep or assign to publishers
From: Peter Kibby (
Date: ti 21 syys   1999 - 15:27:28 EEST

The feedback to the NIH proposal for Biomed Central (currently available
at contain
lively, recent contributions to this and most areas affecting the
scientific publishing model and the implications for copyright.

BioMedNet's HMS Beagle (latest) has a summary and valuable comments at

On copyright the turning point seems to be who first publishes an
article, and where: if it is first published via a self-archiving
server, any publisher who subsequently prints the article in a journal
without insisting on the removal of the article from the self-archiving
server, may have little or no claim to the copyright in the article in
spite of any rubric in their instructions to authors.

This is just one of the issues covered in our new book,
'TFPL/Blackwell's Guide to Electronic Journal Management', which
summarises current trends and debates. Printed copies (A5, 112pp, £25, 1
870 889 83 5) are available (

>From: Barbara Schleihagen[]
>Sent: 21 September 1999 11:41
>Subject: Copyright: keep or assign to publishers
>Dear list subscribers,
>Please see the request below for further information on the European debate
>regarding self-publishing. Maybe you would like to give your view?
>Kind regards, Barbara Schleihagen
>Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 13:30:11 +0200
>From: Denise Nicholson <>
>Subject: Copyright: keep or assign to publishers
>Content-Length: 2185
>I wondered if you could let me have some information and/or your
>comments on the subject of copyright management and copyright
>ownership. I have read several articles about universities in America
>debating the issue as to whether academic authors shouldn't be keeping
>their own copyright, rather than assigning it to journal publishers.
>Some institutions in the US have proposed various options, one being a
>National Electronic Article Repository (NEAR), whereby only the
>exclusive right to journal publication of the manuscript would pass to
>the journal. The author would retain the right to have the manuscript
>included in the NEAR 90 days after it appears in the journal.
>The problem is that no one is prepared to take the risk unless everyone
>does, as his material may not be published and his career could be
>negatively affected. Hence the debate continues until a resolution is
>Even in South Africa academics are getting tired of having to assign
>their copyright and control of their IP to publishers, as they get no
>compensation for this, in fact some journals require authors to pay per
>page before publishing their works.
>The Association of Learned Authors and Professional Society Publishers
>in the UK did a survey earlier this year and the results confirm that
>authors would rather keep their own copyright rather than assign it to
>publishers. Copyright was low on their list of concerns. They receive
>nothing or very little from publishers in the way of copyright
>I would like to know whether similar debates are happening in Europe and
>whether any policies on this have been made. With the Internet,
>obviously, authors are looking at quicker, more efficient ways of
>publishing, but they still require a good "peer review" system.
>I look forward to hearing from you, as soon as possible. I am preparing
>a paper for Academic authors next week and hope to discuss international
>trends in this regard.
>Denise Nicholson
>Copyright Services Librarian,
>University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
>Tel. 27-11-716-4446
>Fax. 27-11-403-8088

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