Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, September 03, 2007

Hybrid OA journals should be clear on what publication fees buy

Peter Murray-Rust, Scientist accuses OA policies of being unclear, Information World Review, September 3, 2007.  Excerpt:

...Scientist Peter Murray-Rust...resigned from one journal after finding that Springer had retained the copyright after authors had paid $3000 to make their papers Open Access.

“I am a scientist who believes that there is a major advance taking place with data driven science, using data as a primary route to understanding. I believe all scientific data should be published openly, relying on the BOAI declaration which implies that any data associated with open access should be openly and freely used without any permission,” he told IWR.

Murray-Rust was researching publishers to see to what extent they were enabling and encouraging the re-use of scientific data. When he looked at publishers with author pays business models he was shocked to find how imprecisely their open access policies were worded and the lack of clarity about data.  “I had assumed Open Access meant the author would retain copyright and Open Access would be enabled by the journals adding licences such as Creative Commons,” he says.

Jan Velterop, Springer senior director of Open Access, said, “I disagree with Murray-Rust that the Open Access is not clear. If it is open, it is open and that is clear. There are flaws in the way that is presented and we are addressing that technically. If it is a new article that is Open Access the author’s name will be on the copyright line. If it is retrospective, Springer’s name will be on the copyright line as it was before, as we don’t want to change the printed record.”

He added, “We have made some changes as a result of this as we will refer to the Creative Commons licence used in the article itself.”

Velterop does not have high hopes of the publishing community working together to create a consistent and proactive Open Access policy: “It is difficult as these things need co-ordination and the publishing industry is analogous to the scientific community in that it is fairly anarchic.”

Murray-Rust asked all the publishers to respond to his concerns but by press time only Springer and Libertas Academica had done so. “It is difficult to escape the conclusion that that the publishers do not have their hearts in this process and want to keep their options open,” said Murray-Rust.