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ICSTI news 4th May 2002

News for ICSTI Members May 4 2002 (cut and copied by HDF from a .doc
original)

1.	A FAQ for copyright questions from CENDI

CENDI the US Federal interagency cooperative organization has published
"Frequently Asked Questions About Copyright "  The 63 questions and
answers contained in this initial publication address copyright and
contract law that affect federal government information dissemination
practices.  Developed primarily as an awareness tool for use by federal
librarians, information centre managers, publications managers, and
government authors, the FAQ is available on CENDI's website at: 
http://www.dtic.mil/cendi/publications/00-3copyright.html.

2.	Open Access and "fair use" - Steven Harnad on one aspect of the
issue…

In the AmSci Forum Steven Harnad, who is familiar to you all, is the
moderator (and most frequent contributor). Here are extracts from a
recent input on whether "course packs" (compilations handed out to
students) could or should be covered by the Open Access Initiative….

"…..on-paper and on-line "fair use" issues such as 2nd-party course
packs for teaching will eventually benefit from the Budapest Open Access
Initiative (BOAI) http://www.soros.org/openaccess/read.shtml, but their
needs cannot (and should not) be put forward as part of the rationale or
justification for Open Access itself: They are not part of the
justification for Open Access, and should not be; and if they are mixed
into the BOAI in some way, they can and will only retard progress (both
for open access and for fair use).

The SOLE rationale and justification for the BOAI is that the particular
documents in question - author give-away research - are written and
given away by their authors for one sole reason: to maximize their
impact on research …

The reason Open Access was not feasible in the on-paper era was that the
… costs of on-paper production and dissemination were just too big, and
had to be paid through access-tolls (purchase, subscription) if the
research was to be circulated at all. The on-line era has now made it
possible for the research to be produced and disseminated online-only -
in principle, though this is mostly not yet done in practice: In
practice, journal publishers still produce an on-paper edition, in
parallel with their on-line edition, and they must hence cover the real
costs of both. And there is still a thriving market for the on-paper
edition; and it is those revenues that are also still paying, among
other things, for the peer-review (an essential service).

So by self-archiving their own research - both their pre-peer-review
preprints and their post-peer-review postprints -- publicly ON-LINE,
researchers can open access to their own work…

But paper course packs are an entirely different matter! They are not
on-line individual copies but on-paper multiple copies. They compete
directly with the paper edition of the journal. And they have nothing to
do with the researchers' rationale for self-archiving. (That does not
mean that researchers do not approve of or even applaud them: but they
are a side-issue for research and researchers.)….

….the clearest reason for the dissociation between the movement for open
access for research and researchers and the movement for fair use for
teaching course-packs is that the peer-reviewed research literature (for
most of which there is in any case little demand for teaching purposes)
is exclusively an author-giveaway literature, whereas the target
literature for course-pack use in teaching is far, far bigger, including
decidedly non-give-away literature such as (excerpts from) textbooks,
monographs, and non-give-away periodical contents. There is no overall
rationale for open access to this vast non-give-away literature…..

So please be patient. There will be some trickle-down from the open
access to benefits for teaching use, but teaching use cannot be cited as
one of the reasons for open access now, and if it were, it would have
the opposite effect. My suggestion is that you make your course-packs
online, and let nature take care of the rest. Where students do not have
on-line access, I am afraid the BOAI cannot help. And we are not trying
to prevent cost-recovery for on-paper editions by generating competing
paper editions (even in the form of 2nd-party course-packs)"

In my opinion this is a rational argument; if you want to "give away" as
he describes it, your research, then by all means publish it in an open
archive. If you want to hand out course packs then respect the
copyright…. …. Maybe we are getting somewhere in this issue??

-- 
VISITING GENEVA? See http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/geneva02.html

Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html

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