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Saturday, July 19, 2008

New interim policy from the APA

The American Psychological Association has posted a new interim policy on NIH-funded authors and self-archiving. 

If you remember, last week the APA posted a policy (1) charging a $2,500 fee to deposit author manuscripts in PubMed Central, and (2) revoking the APA's long-standing green policy, or permission to self-archive, at least for NIH-funded authors.

The new interim policy drops the deposit fee and reaffirms the green policy, even for NIH-funded authors.  Excerpt:

A previous APA Web site posting of these author instructions that included reference to a publication fee for manuscripts based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since October 1, 2007, is currently being re-examined and is not being implemented at this time.  APA will continue to deposit NIH-funded manuscripts on behalf of authors in the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central (PMC) in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy, as noted below.

Authors of manuscripts to be published in APA journals may post a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript, as a word processing, PDF, or other type file, on their personal Web site or on their employer's server after the manuscript is accepted for publication. The following conditions would prevail: The posted article must carry an APA copyright notice and include a link to the APA journal home page, and the posted article must include the following statement: "This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record. APA does not provide electronic copies of the APA published version for this purpose, and authors are not permitted to scan in the APA published version....

Comments

  • I applaud the APA for reaffirming its green policy for all APA authors, including NIH-funded authors, and I applaud it for dropping the deposit fee.
  • I call the new policy "interim" because the policy page says that the deposit fee "is currently being re-examined and is not being implemented at this time."  I urge the APA to make the interim policy permanent.
  • The new interim statement resolves a conflict between the APA's 2002 policy, allowing self-archiving, and the (now-deleted) 2008 policy restricting it.  But there is one more conflict I hope the APA will resolve shortly.  The APA publication rights form does not expressly allow self-archiving and, read narrowly, may prohibit it.  (Thanks to Stuart Shieber for pointing this out.)  It allows authors to "reproduce" their paper for "personal use or for company use" and to "make limited distribution of all or portions of the...paper prior to publication."  But that is all.  This language was in force even before last week's policy restricting the APA green policy.  By contrast, both the 2002 policy and the new interim policy are more explicit and more helpful in their permission for self-archiving.  The 2002 policy allows authors to "post a copy of the final manuscript...on their Web site or their employer's server after it is accepted for publication" and the new interim policy allows authors to "post a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript...on their personal Web site or on their employer's server after the manuscript is accepted for publication."  I hope the APA will soon make its publication rights form as clear and unambiguous as these two policy statements.
  • For my comments on the retracted policy (charging a deposit fee and revoking the permission to self-archive for NIH-funded authors), see my blog posts for July 15 and July 16.

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