Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, July 05, 2007

New OA journal on linguistics

Language Documentation & Conservation is a new peer-reviewed OA journal from the National Foreign Language Resource Center and the University of Hawai'i Press.  The inaugural issue is now online.  (Thanks to Language Log.)

Also see Paul Newman's article from the inaugural issue, Copyright Essentials for Linguists:

Abstract:   This paper addresses copyright issues that linguists confront in their capacity as users and creators of scholarly work. It is organized in a simple question-answer format. Questions 1–3 present the basics of U.S. copyright law, including the fundamental nature of copyright as a bundle of intellectual property rights and the role of registration. Questions 4–5 treat issues of copyright notice. Questions 6–8 explain licenses, especially Creative Commons licenses, and the function of an Author’s Addendum. Questions 9–10 look at copyright in the context of online open access publishing. Question 11 discusses the concept of Fair Use. Question 12 analyzes the problem of what are called Orphan Works. Questions 13–19 explore issues of copyright ownership, including Work for Hire, joint authorship, and attribution. Questions 20–22 deal with copyright with specific reference to fieldwork situations and indigenous rights. The paper concludes with a brief presentation of key sources for further study and clarification.

Comment.  Newman makes a good point, but leaves a false impression, in answering Question 10:  "If I take an article from a free, open-access online journal, is it fair to assume that I can use the material for whatever academic purposes I want?"  He correctly says that OA journals are still under copyright and that, in the absence of a CC license or equivalent, users will be limited to fair use.  What he could have added is that most OA journals do use a CC license or equivalent.  Hence, it usually is safe to assume that OA journals expressly permit scholarly uses beyond fair use.