There are many journals who would be willing to decline to publish the papers of an individual intransigent researcher. There are not many journals who would be willing to ban papers from Princeton entirely.
As an example, Dan Bernstein, who is certainly a well-respected researcher in his field, has individually adopted a policy of dedicating his papers to the public domain so that, like researchers employed by the US Government, he cannot assign copyright in them. The IEEE has consequently decided to reject his papers even when its referees accept them, even though they accept papers from US Government researchers: http://cr.yp.to/writing/ieee.html
This kind of phenomenon, where giving up freedom improves your negotiating position, was extensively studied by Schelling in his theory of negotiation.
It's also very relevant to the debate over Treacherous (or "Trusted") Computing, signed bootloaders, and the like. You might prefer not to have the option of cryptographically certifying to Warner Music that your machine is running an approved operating system on approved hardware. That's because if you have that option, they might not sell you music unless you exercise it, probably giving up many of the rights you have under copyright law; while if you don't have that option, they are faced with a less tempting choice of only selling you a CD.
Advocates of these systems sometimes design systems where you have full freedom to run either signed or unsigned software, claiming that this makes their systems safe from abuse. This overlooks this phenomenon, where having a freedom makes you subject to pressure to exercise it.
Well, it is giving up freedom, regardless of what it is like.
Keep in mind that there is a strong tradition in political discourse (in the U.S. at least) that using the word "freedom" is a signal that we are in favor of something, and thus, that "giving up freedom" is a negative thing. However, "freedom" is a word with a clear definition, and we can use it without intending the above signal.
So, it seems to me that this policy of Princeton's is a fine idea. It is nonetheless a reduction in the freedom of Princeton's faculty.
In contrast, at my own university the faculty contract explicitly assigns rights in their research to the researcher. The university gets a royalty-free license, but that's it. I have never had occasion to consider this contractual clause in a negative light, but here it is: my university could not enact a policy like Princeton's without violating the contract. (OTOH, my university is not nearly as big of a player as Princeton; at present such a policy would probably not be helpful.)
While that's true, this is a discussion about negotiating in a game-theoretic context. "Giving up freedom" is usually associated with the game of chicken, whereby one party improves their outcomes by "removing their freedom" to select the chicken option. The ggp implies that this was the operating principle, when it in fact is not.
Saying that I have given up the freedom to give other people the copyright to my research, when that was precisely my goal in the first place, is IMHO a clear abuse of language. It's like saying a superbowl team has given up their freedom to lose the playoffs because they decided to practice too much. It's just ridiculous.
Couching this in terms of freedom is the wrong way to think about the issue, methinks - it detracts from the real issue. Freedom in the US is a very politically charged word - as an outsider visiting the US, I could hear a capital F in the word almost every time I heard it in public.
As such I welcome someone using the word correctly for once.
I certainly found when I visited the US for a while that there was nothing I felt I was freer to do legally (tourists don't really get to 'bear arms'), but plenty I couldn't do culturally - ironically mostly about speaking freely in public. I imagine an American visiting Australia would feel similar cultural restrictions, but again, no particular activity they're used to would be forbidden them legally.
I guess it just irritates when you run into those particular folks who define themselves as 'free' and making you out to be 'not free' by comparison.
As others have pointed out, collective bargaining is a particular way of giving up individual freedom.
From time to time, this yields something good. Props to the grad school I dropped out of :)
"The Heart of Research is Sick"
Essentially, it’s the publication process. It has become a system of
collecting counters for particular purposes – to get grants, to get
tenure, etc. – rather than to communicate and illuminate findings to
other people. The literature is, by and large, unreadable. It’s all
written in a kind of code, with inappropriate data in large amounts,
and the storyline is becoming increasingly orchestrated by this need
to publish. We all know it. We all suffer from it. I think the changes
to the scientific enterprise have been inexorable and progressive. The
deterioration has been so steady that people don’t really realise how
much things have changed.
The top research universities pull in enough grants to make that all worth it, but many smaller universities don't ever come out ahead, though they like to pretend they do. There are small schools where they consider it a huge success that they land a $1m NSF grant now and then, but they are almost certainly spending more than $1m every few years to do so. In addition, even when you do land grants, co-financing is becoming more popular, so the university ends up having to kick in even more money in the successful case.
A bit more on that from Georgia Tech's former CS dean: http://innovate-wwc.com/2011/05/18/if-you-have-to-ask-ten-su...
It leads to weird situations where it's actually cheaper to load up your $4k server with $1k in crap you don't really need, to turn it into a capital improvement.
Wiley: "Naturally, we are concerned that posting the final versions of published articles in Open Access and institutional repositories lacking viable business models may have an adverse impact on the business of scholarly communication."
TL;DR: Universities should continue to pay us, because otherwise we won't make any money.
If anyone has a reference which justifies the paywall charges, please share it.
The situation is a lot worse for the general public, although even then many public libraries have subscriptions to the largest journals.
Some of us have finished school and left the academy, but would still like to read an journal article from time to time.
Maybe public libraries in the largest of cities but I've never seen this in libraries in medium-sized (100,000-250,000 people) Massachusetts cities.
Even if this cost were spread over just the students this would be only $100 per student per year. And given that the grant-funded professors use the journals orders of magnitude more, the student's proportional burden is probably less than a dollar. Yes, the cost should be zero, but we're talking about access to all the world's scientific knowledge. This cost is hardly "appalling".
In other words, the question is not how much access to all the world's scientific knowledge is worth, but whether it's acceptable for an entity that had no hand in creating that knowledge to control access to it.
On the other hand, if the university was charging the students $10/hour to access journals they needed to read to graduate, that might indeed be appalling. But, as I originally emphasized, students don't have it that bad!
So to sum up, I'm just trying to avoid and counteract the use of some rhetorical techniques I find off-putting, such as
We could use some open-source concepts for paper publishing.
The major cost of a journal is the peer review process, editing, and printing. This can really take a substantial portion of someones time. I don't think it justifies a $25 (sometimes over $40) fee to see an article printed 8 years ago though.
Nope, just printing.
Peer review is unpaid. In technical fields, at least, editing these days is done by the author (and/or whoever assists at the author's institution) and sometimes by peer reviewers. With LaTeX being standard, the author even does the great majority of the typesetting work. None of these people are funded by the journal. So you are certainly right about the time required; but the people who spend all this time never see that money.
Now forget the paper version and just put it all on the web, and we see that an academic journal can be run very cheaply indeed.
I also have a big problem with the fact that journals receive a perpetual copyright to the work instead of it becoming an open license 6-months to a year after publication.
Returning to the cost issue. The cost I am referring to comes from paying for the software to manage the peer review process and the time it takes to build the relationships to have enough reviewers available to deal with the first submission and the revision that will almost likely occur.
To put out a single issue with 20 articles can easily involve 50 reviewers and at least 40 authors.
It is the social science and humanities journals that have real problems with getting papers ready for print. It's easy to only think about scientific journals but the reality is a great deal of researchers only have sufficient computer skills. They will write a professional paper and do the best they can to format it but it isn't anywhere near ready to send to the printers.
Large journals can easily cover these costs. Small journals are really struggling to get by. I hear small journal editors talking about how long they will be able to survive. They want to make it work but just don't know how.
It's not an easy problem to solve.
You may say that the cost of getting an article for $25 is fair given the amount of work done by the publisher is fair, but the author, to my knowledge (since I am not an author of any sorts) they don't receive any payment due to these transactions. I am noy paying for the editing and publishing, I am only paying for the content (more true to CS / science fields, where TeX stuff are pretty common)
What really need to change is the journal oriented way of publishing papers, we don't need to have stuff printed these days, as far as my university life went, I have only read one or two articles in printed form because I happened to be inside the library.
As much as computerized content goes, layout and stuff are much more automatic, and by providing writers with better and simplier tools, we may be able to save more trees by going digital.
I think this problem needs to be adressed at funding agency level, with funding agencies requiring that all publication be made available on the agency's website.
Even if publishers make exemptions rather than change their policies, it sets a precedent that exemptions can be made for institutional requirements.
However, if a few big universities follow Princeton's lead here, that cost will disappear.
Many publishers have a similar clause. My institution (a french research institute) also requires me to put my publications on their public repository and it does not create problems for journals in CS.
Non-false title may be "Princeton bans publishers from handling copyright to journal publishers who ban authors from publishing their articles on their website."
Princeton wants to stop this.
"Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise." (17 U.S.C. § 105)
"A 'work of the United States Government' is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties." (17 U.S.C. § 101)
...although I disagree that the pressure to give away copyright is weak. At least in the life sciences, the prestige you get from a publication in, say, Nature or Science is far more valuable than the work alone.
Er, hello? If the policy is just a paper tiger, perhaps that fact should go in the title?
I think this is a great step, but if it's largely symbolic, that's a pretty important part of the story and doesn't deserve to be in paragraph 10
I'm left questioning how much is real and how much is spin, which is not where I want to be as a reader.
Compare that to the web, where an elaborate blog post and a project on GitHub is enough to become visible to the entire world within hours.
Percentage wise, how much influence did academic papers have on your day to day work in the last year compared to new stuff you found on the web?
If you're not in field X, you won't hear about new research until later. But if you're not in field X, how often does it matter that you weren't on the bleeding edge of something in that field?
The difficulty is that some publishers don't allow you to make pdfs of the final versions of papers freely available. Of course, you can always publish draft versions, which is not entirely a bad thing.
I imagine you could incorporate revisions if you liked. (And my "I imagine", I mean "I did this when I published papers in the past".) This is probably against the letter of the copyright agreement, but I don't give a damn, and AFAIK publishers don't dare go after people who do this.
In cases where the journal refuses to publish their article without the academic handing all copyright to the publisher, the academic can seek a waiver from the open access policy from the University.
The policy authors acknowledged that this may make the rule toothless in practice but said open access policies can be used “to lean on the journals to adjust their standard contracts so that waivers are not required, or with a limited waiver that simply delays open access for a few months.”
It's a bit unfair to the actual researchers, but if they start putting pressure on the journal publishers -- "Sorry, you've got a high impact factor and I'd love to publish with you, but I can't justify the 2 weeks of fighting with the bureaucracy about a waiver" -- and you might see some progress.
Or their grad students will get another shitty task piled on their list. Hmmmmm.
That means unless a waiver is given, it doesn't matter what the journal does or thinks, the university can publish the material anyway it likes. A compromise of sorts, but the effect is that more people potentially have access.
Just have a thought, do we really need journal publishers these days? It was once a time we don't have any means than print publishing to exchange views, now we have the series of tubes to do so.
1. Have a place for open publication, like arxiv.org, but with a system of non-anonymous commenting and rating. So if someone puts a paper there, others can comment on it and rate it. Ratings could include several categories, such as clarity, importance, rigor, and so on.
2. There should be a system to rate the reviewers.
3. Out of this would emerge a growing collection of reviewers who are recognized as being very good at reviewing papers.
4. Reviewers would start publishing lists of papers they have recently reviewed, broken down by field.
5. Scientists would subscribe to these lists from the top reviewers in their field.
6. Reviewing could become a profession. A researcher who wants to make sure his paper gets attention could pay one or more high rated reviewers to review it. Note that for reviewers it is important to maintain a reputation as an accurate and honest reviewer, which I think would be enough of a safe guard against authors being able to buy good reviews for bad papers.
If arXiv allowed for signed comments, then famous people could say as little as "This is an interesting paper, and everyone interested in X should read it", and that would do a lot for the reputations of unknown people who are doing good work.
No one is restricted, and everyone knows where to go to avoid having to trawl through the dross themselves.
The experience is that the opt-out does get used a fair bit in biomed.
Sometimes, especially in CS, you get lucky and find a citeseer or personal-page copy, but anything IEE(E) is pretty rare IME.
1. First, congratulations to Princeton University (my graduate alma mater!) for adopting an open access mandate: a copyright-reservation policy, adopted by unanimous faculty vote.
2. Princeton is following in the footsteps of Harvard in adopting the copyright-reservation policy pioneered by Stuart Shieber and Peter Suber.
4. I hope that Princeton will now also follow in the footsteps of Harvard by adding an immediate-deposit requirement with no waiver option to its copyright-reservation mandate, as Harvard has done.
5. The Princeton copyright-reservation policy, like the Harvard copyright-reservation policy, can be waived if the author wishes: This is to allow authors to retain the freedom to choose where to publish, even if the journal does not agree to the copyright-reservation.
6. Adding an immediate-deposit clause, with no opt-out waiver option, retains all the properties and benefits of the copyright-reservation policy while ensuring that all articles are nevertheless deposited in the institutional repository upon publication, with no exceptions: Access to the deposited article can be embargoed, but deposit itself cannot; access is a copyright matter, deposit is not.
7. Depositing all articles upon publication, without exception, is crucial to reaching 100% open access with certainty, and as soon as possible; hence it is the right example to set for the many other universities worldwide that are now contemplating emulating Harvard and Princeton by adopting open access policies of their own; copyright reservation alone, with opt-out, is not.
8. The reason it is imperative that the deposit clause must be immediate and without a waiver option is that, without that, both when and whether articles are deposited at all is indeterminate: With the added deposit requirement the policy is a mandate; without it, it is just a gentleman/scholar's agreement.
[Footnote: Princeton's open access policy is also unusual in having been adopted before Princeton has created an open access repository for its authors to deposit in: It might be a good idea to create the repository as soon as possible so Princeton authors can get into the habit of practising what they pledge from the outset...]