Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Caltech grad students draft a resolution on OA

From the Chair, gscnews, June 2008. (Thanks to George Porter.)
... [T]he [Graduate Student Council] is trying to become more active on your behalf. From conversations with many of you, including our Academics Committee and appointees to the Faculty Library Committee, the first of these resolutions on your behalf is presently being drafted. The subject is open-access, particularly whether or not we, as publishing scientists, should maintain the copyright to our work when we publish. Currently many publishers require a transfer of copyright upon publication, and several professors at the institute simply cross these requirements off the contract when they submit work. However, while faculty can change their contracts and still expect their papers to be published, we graduate students cannot afford to be so cavalier. We are currently considering a resolution in favor of an opt-out policy for such rights maintenance, meaning that graduate students won't have to worry about haggling over the issue with different journals as that role will be filled by our library. Similar steps to protect these copyrights have already been taken by Harvard faculty and the National Institute of Health, along with professional societies in high-energy physics and neuroscience. Please let me know of any concerns you have moving forward with this, and I will relay them to the Faculty Library Committee (in addition to, of course, to the GSC Board of Directors).

I've heard from several of you about our resolution, and many suggestions have already been incorporated. If you feel strongly one way or the other about this or other issues at Caltech, please contact your option representative ...