Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Haworth demands copyright prior to peer review

Charles Bailey has made an interesting discovery:

Haworth Press now has a policy of requiring a copyright transfer prior to peer review.

For example, the "Instructions to Authors" for the Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve states: "Copyright ownership of your manuscript must be transferred officially to The Haworth Press, Inc., before we can begin the peer-review process."

Incredible.  It's bad enough to demand copyright after peer review, when publishers only need the right of first publication.  But this goes much further in tying the author's hands.  Charles comments:

This raises the interesting question of what happens when a paper is rejected: Haworth now owns the copyright, so how can the author now submit the rejected paper elsewhere?

Here's another angle on it:  if editors or referees suggest changes to the manuscript, the author is no longer free to reject them and try another journal.  Author beware!

Update. See comments by Heather Morrison and Bill Walsh. Walsh's comment shows that the policy is not quite as bad as it looks.