Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Scholar's guide to copyright now in English

How to use copyright wisely within scholarly communication, a press release from SURF, May 7, 2008.  Excerpt:

Today, SURF is launching the English version of its website about copyright in higher education, especially for scholarly communication.... This is a translation of the Dutch site that has been online since early in 2007. Since then, SURF has received numerous requests to make this information available for the many foreign scientists and scholars working at Dutch universities.

If an author transfers all of his rights exclusively to a publisher, this restricts the options for reusing the research results, for either teaching or research purposes. Doing so may also involve additional costs. Being more aware about copyright and using alternative licence models helps to optimise access to the publicly financed results of scientific and scholarly research and to reuse those results....

Also see the guide's FAQ, which includes questions on institutional repositories.  From the final section of the FAQ, Four things that authors definitely need to know:

1. When you are going to sign a contract with a publisher, you can negotiate regarding the rights that you will transfer....

2. Copyright is intended not just to protect an author’s rights but also to promote the freedom and exchange of information....

By granting a Creative Commons licence, an author can specify precisely what use he/she permits and what type of use is prohibited.

3. Did you know that thousands of open-access peer-reviewed periodicals are included in the Directory of Open Access Journals?

A lot of new publication methods have been developed in recent years, including in your own discipline. These open-access peer-reviewed periodicals have impact factors and citation figures that are comparable to those of traditional peer-reviewed periodicals. You can find more information about Open Access on the Open Access theme page.

4. It’s easy for you to contribute to this shift in scientific/scholarly publishing.

  • Check out the possibilities of Open Access. The SPARC Open Access Newsletter (SOAN) gives a clear explanation of what Open Access actually means and what the various options are....
  • Publish your articles in an open-access periodical. 
  • Read and quote from open-access periodicals and promote their use by your colleagues. 
  • Make use of open-access repositories. All the Dutch universities have set up a repository in which thousands of articles are already available. 
  • Keep track of experiments by fellow researchers and institutions. 
  • Keep track of experiments by publishers, a number of which are also engaged in various activities in this field.