Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, January 31, 2005

Nature's new archiving policy

Tracey Caldwell, Nature opts for new policy on archiving, Information World Review, January 31, 2005. Excerpt: 'Nature Publishing Group (NPG) has changed its self-archiving policy to allow authors to publish articles on a funding body's archive site six months after publication. Previously, authors were only permitted to self-archive their contribution on their personal websites. Now, authors of original research papers published by NPG will be encouraged to submit the peer-reviewed manuscript to their funding body's archive, their institution's repositories and their personal websites for release six months after publication....Peter Suber, editor of the Open Access News blog...told IWR: "This is a significant step. It even goes beyond the NIH signalling that Nature will never refuse the NIH request or encourage its authors to refuse the NIH request. On the contrary, Nature will encourage its authors to comply with it. However, it also has the effect of trying to apply the six-month embargo to archiving at the author's institutional repository and personal website." Suber told IWR: "I hope [the embargo on self-archiving] does not become a...standard as that is contrary to the public interest....I would not like to see [an embargo] applied where it had not been before." '

(PS: The first quotation in this article is taken my blog posting of 1/10/05, which I wrote before I confirmed that Nature was indeed trying to introduce a six-month embargo on self-archiving. My position now is that the policy makes an advance by encouraging self-archiving, and not just on personal web sites, but that it makes a very regrettable retreat by attempting to add a six-month embargo on self-archiving. I'll say more in the February SOAN, which will mail in a day or two.)