This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United StatesFortunately, you can now follow the link to the final version at arXiv.org. I'm not the only one annoyed by the publishers charging for access to papers not subject to copyright. Below the fold, some more on this scam.
Twelve days before I posted Pre-publication Peer Review Subtracts Value Barbara Fister ran into this issue and was annoyed enough to use ALL CAPS on Twitter. Eight days after my post she posted Public Domain -- Just Kidding!:
Anyway, [the interlibrary loan manager] was startled to see that the publisher wanted $38 per copy for an article that clearly stated on its first page was in the public domain. It wasn’t copyrighted! But the version the publishers put out was. Sort of. The publisher “added value” (according to their website “such as formatting or copy editing”). Unless the authors of the article that was in the public domain paid the publishers of the journal $3,000, readers and libraries would have to pay for it.Vicky Reich researched the issue and wrote:
The publishers (apparently Wiley’s contract for example) take the position that the responsibility of making government authored articles freely available falls on the government, and that it’s perfectly reasonable for publishers to charge for the version they publish. This approach seems to have librarian acceptance.Three questions:
- Does the government accept that they have this responsibility? Clearly no.
- Should librarians accept this ineffectual transfer of responsibility to the government? Clearly no, it is costing them a lot of money.
- Should tax-payers accept this situation? Clearly no, they are being prevented from accessing work that they paid for and which is in the public domain.
Public Resource has been conducting an intensive audit of the scholarly literature. We have focused on works of the U.S. government. Our audit has determined that 1,264,429 journal articles authored by federal employees or officers are potentially void of copyright.That's a lot of articles.