Friday, June 3, 2016

He Who Pays The Piper

As expected, the major publishers have provided an amazingly self-serving response to the EUs proposed open access mandate. My suggestion for how the EU should respond in turn is:
When the EU pays for research, the EU controls the terms under which it is to be published. If the publishers want to control the terms under which some research is published, publishers should pay for that research. You can afford to.


David. said...

The League of European Research Universities has responded to the STM publishers's news release. LERU's president characterized it as "2.5 pages of nonsense".

David Prosser focuses on:

"However publishers still require at a minimum an exclusive licensing of rights and sometimes a copyright transfer to enable publication on behalf of the author. "

and asks if this is the case how can successful open access publishers exist? I agree that the requirement for copyright transfer or exclusive license is the key to the situation. I would simply suggest that Universities make it clear that works written by people they employ are works for hire, and thus the copyright belongs to the University not to the author, and thus that copyright transfers or licenses signed by authors are null and void. A concerted move by Universities to do this would force the publishers to defend their ownership of the content they publish in court, and would thus place them even more on the defensive.

David. said...

The Wellcome Trust appears to have taken my advice. They announced yesterday that they are working with Vitek Tracz's Faculty of 1000 to set up an open access, post-publication review publishing platform through which their grantees will be encouraged to publish:

"It will enable Wellcome grantees to publish a wide variety of outputs from standard research articles and data sets, through to null and negative results.

The platform will use a model of immediate publication followed by transparent invited peer review, with inclusion of supporting data, enabling researchers to reanalyse, replicate and reuse the data, all of which will help to improve the reproducibility and reliability of the research it publishes.

Once articles pass peer review, they will be indexed in major bibliographic databases and deposited in PubMed Central and Europe PMC."

The next step might be to require publication through their platform. If other funding agencies followed suit, it would totally transform scientific communication.