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ICSTI: news items

  • To: epc@iucr.org
  • Subject: ICSTI: news items
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 15:02:48 +0000
  • Organization: IUCr
Subject: The many copy problem with OA

One of the issues that arises with the advent of OA is the many copy 
problem. If an article is made open access then, ipso facto, it can 
legally be copied to other places. This gives rise to the risk that 
any modifications to the original article may be 'lost' in the 
process and a reader may be unaware that the version they have is not 
the most recent.

In addition, for Abstracting & Indexing services there is a problem of 
a)identifying the item and b) being sure it is the definitive 
version. This particular issue will be part of the subject of the 
ICSTI Technical Meeting which will be held in London on 17 May 2004 
in association with our General Meeting. Details at: 

Peter Suber the author of the well know OA Blog has written an article 
on the many copy problem in which he reviews the issues and suggests 
some solutions. You can find it 

NB: comment on the above from Gérard Giroud:
Maybe a contribution from the "Patent world", which is by the way an 
"open access" world. The many copies question was never a problem. It 
is always possible to ask a copy to the initial publisher.
Subject: Survey of OA by JISC

At this address: 

There are the results of a survey undertaken on behalf of the UK 
funding body JISC and the Open Society Initiative, into Open Access.

Subject: Washington DC Principles for Free Access To Science

NFAIS Members may not have yet heard of the briefing and panel held 
this morning at the National Press Club in Washington DC. From the 
press release dated today:

"Representatives from the nation's leading not-for-profit 
medical/scientific societies and publishers have announced their 
commitment to providing free access and wide dissemination of 
published research findings. Their commitment was conveyed today by 
the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, the 
American Diabetes Association and others, during a news conference in 
Washington at which they released Washington DC Principles for Free 
Access to Science-a statement representing 48 not-for-profit 
publishers, over 600,000 scientists and clinicians, and more than 380 

The full statement of principles may be accessed by clicking through 
to: http://www.dcprinciples.org/statement.htm A full list of 
signatories with contact names may be found at: 
http://www.dcprinciples.org/signatorieslist.htm The press release is 
available at: http://www.dcprinciples.org/release.htm

NB: comment on the above from Walt Warnick:

This is a very interesting development. Notice that these publishers 
are heavily focused on the life sciences. In contrast, the physical 
sciences are little represented.

Among the remaining major questions are: will for-profit publishers in 
the life-sciences follow the model now established by not-for-profit 
publishers in the life sciences, and will publishers in the physical 
sciences follow the lead of publishers in the life sciences?

Subject: Taylor & Francis & Informa Group Merge; to be called T&F 

The British academic and scientific journals publisher Taylor & 
Francis has announced plans to merge with British trade publisher 
Informa Group, which offers a range of subscription-based products in 
fields ranging from law to biomedical and pharmaceutical information. 
The companies say the merger will create a new international force in 
the provision of specialist information through the combined 
publishing and events businesses. The merged company will be called 
T&F Informa. T&F recently acquired Marcel Dekker, and prior to that 
Swets & Zeitlinger Publishers, CRC Press, and Frank Cass.
Subject: Elsevier readies Scopus for Autumn release

After two years of planning, development, and initial testing by a 
select group of about 20 university libraries, Elsevier has finally 
made an official announcement of the first fully functioning version 
of Scopus, its highly anticipated, full-text linking, abstracting and 
indexing database. The company is now providing access to another 30 
academic libraries for final testing and user trials, will add more 
libraries over the next 6 months, and expects to have the commercial 
release available by Q4 2004. Scopus is designed to be an all 
science, comprehensive access point for a library, with coverage of 
13,000 titles from over 4,000 STM publishers, plus coverage of over 
100 open access journals by the summer. Scopus also simultaneously 
searches the scientific Web using Elsevier's science-only Internet 
search engine, Scirus. The company aimed to make the Scopus service 
easy to use as Google, with fewer clicks to the full text than any 
service available.

More details at: http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb040315-1.shtml

Subject: New EU IPR Directive approved by the European Parliament

At this URL:

You will find a report on the EU Directive on the enforcement of 
intellectual property rights (IPR.

The IPR directive is aimed primarily at cracking down on piracy and 
counterfeiting by imposing criminal sanctions to infringers operating 
on a large-scale and for commercial purposes only. But opponents 
claim it has been amended in a way that gives rights holders (mostly 
coming from the music and film industries) disproportionate powers, 
allowing individuals to be sued for exchanging files online on the 
same grounds as large-scale infringers.

The criminal sanctions aspects were watered down by the Parliament - 
allowing individual Member States to implement their own sanctions. 
However, Commissioner Bolkestein of the EU declared after the vote 
that the Commission would propose EU measures on criminal sanctions 
for IP rights violations "in due course".

The coalition of European creative industries welcomed the vote as "a 
first step in the fight against piracy and counterfeiting". It 
regretted however, that the directive does not harmonise criminal 
penalties and said creative industries will continue to press for 
criminal sanctions at EU level. The coalition called on the 
institutions to address the issue urgently.

Commenting on the vote, Jim Murray, the director of the EU consumers 
organisation (BEUC) said he was deeply disappointed. He claims the 
current text breaks away from the Commission's initial proposal by 
extending the scope of the directive to private copying, thereby 
giving industry "a weapon to intimidate customers in their own home".

The most interesting aspect is the dilution of the sanctions. The 
Directive was the first (in my experience) to try to require the 
Member States to implement the same sanctions for breaches. The 
Commission's intention to introduce proposals on sanctions again 
shows they are still anxious to get this principle introduced.

The Directive as amended now goes to the Council of Ministers of the 
EU where the expectation (by the European Commission) is that it will 
be finally approved in April. Member States will have two years to 
implement it.

Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
IUCr Journals

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