Open Access News

News from the open access movement


Friday, March 09, 2007

OA to conference presentations, restored

Ingrid Robeyns and some other members of the American Political Science Association (APSA) were surprised to find their conference presentations for sale at AllAcademic.  Robeyns wrote to AllAcademic twice, and got no response, and then wrote to the APSA twice, and got no response.  Finally she turned to blogging:

Iím annoyed for three reasons. First, I donít like commercial organisations to make money out of other peopleís efforts without their consent. I cannot recall that I ever gave this company permission to sell my work....

Second, I am a little annoyed with APSA, since it seems obvious that they are part of the deal; APSA obliges its annual meeting-participants to submit their papers prior to the meeting, as a condition of participation....

The final reason why I donít like this company selling my work is that these are draft papers, and there are good reasons why some authors do not want to have their old drafts circulated until eternity....

It worked.  The next day, this comment appeared on her blog:

This is Michael Brintnall. Iím the APSA Executive Director. The annual meeting papers are not meant to be sold, and AllAcademic is taking them down. It was a mistake that caused them to be up for sale at that site, and we regret it.

The papers are on-line at www.politicalscience.org as part of the PROL [Political Research Online] initiative. This is an open-access site, operated as a collaboration of APSA and a large number of other political science associations. Itís an extension of APSAís PROceedings site, where papers are posted for each annual meeting, and it brings together scholarship from a host of other annual meetings too. Itís a good place to search for early scholarship, and I encourage you to use it. AllAcademic is the contractor that we use to set up the site. There was some recent confusion about their including our papers in their own for-sale data base. None of the papers from the politicalscience.org project is meant to be at the AllAcademic site for sale and they are removing them.

APSA does hold the copyright on papers presented at the conference. We count on scholars presenting at the meeting to post their work; and the Council is right now considering ways to increase the response to this. I hope this hiccup with All Academic doesnít fuel any cynicism about making early scholarship like this available on an open access basis Ė itís the purpose of the politicalscience.org project, and itís what academic discourse is about....

PS:  I don't like the APSA's claim of copyright over conference presentations, but I do like its commitment to OA for them.  And I like the role of blogging in solving this problem.