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U.C. System and Springer Agree To CC-Licensed Journal Articles 54

Posted by timothy
from the welcome-news dept.
NeoSkink writes "The University of California and Springer Science+Business Media have reached an agreement to provide open access for articles submitted by UC-affiliated authors. In a press release, the UC writes: 'Under the terms of the agreement, articles by UC-affiliated authors accepted for publication in a Springer journal beginning in 2009 will be published using Springer Open Choice with full and immediate open access. There will be no separate per-article charges, since costs have been factored into the overall license. Articles will be released under a license compatible with the Creative Commons (by-nc: Attribution, Non-commercial) license. In addition to access via the Springer platform, final published articles will also be deposited in the California Digital Library's eScholarship Repository.'"
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U.C. System and Springer Agree To CC-Licensed Journal Articles

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  • change is a comin' (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @05:51PM (#26646139)
    This is pretty big. Basically the other major publishing houses will need to come up with similar agreements. Otherwise a good chunk of papers produced by research done in the UC system will be submitted to Springer journals first.
    • by philspear (1142299) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @06:48PM (#26646971)

      Otherwise a good chunk of papers produced by research done in the UC system will be submitted to Springer journals first.

      If I write a paper, I'm going to try to get it in the best journal I can so it looks better on my resume. Open access does not factor into it. I'm not about to sell myself short and publish in a lower impact journal, and hurt my career, just to make sure everyone can access it free of charge.

      That said, springer does have some high impact journals, and there could be other details I'm missing to sweeten the deal. All else being equal though, if faced with a choice between higher value publication and open access, it's not a question, and won't be for many other people.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I think that seems short-sighted - even petty. I prefer to look at it from a different point of view.

        I'd rather my papers be read & cited by more people, than that they have some fancy brand-name associated with them.

        So, unless you're talking about the top tier journals like Science or Nature, I'd rather publish in PLoS [plos.org] or similar open journals, so that I can distribute my papers as widely as possible.

        I'm interested in doing good science - not labels - or packing my resume. Sorry, but your first sentenc

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by philspear (1142299)

          Pathetic? I'm a grad student. If I didn't come off as pathetic, I'd be putting on a good act. In all honesty, my views on open access and whatnot are of little value. I don't get to judge my own CV. When I'm a tenured professor, then I could have some choice in the matter, but right now I'm far from it. Selling my paper short (for a cause I'm pretty apathetic about anyway) would have no effect.

          Out of curiosity, anonymous person, what field is your lab in?

          • Out of curiosity, anonymous person, what field is your lab in?

            Left?

          • by kabloom (755503)

            I (as a CS PhD student) do actually care about open access. You have no idea how many times I run into a dead end trying to look something up and end up following a trail of breadcrumbs into a Springer journal. It's a major pain in the butt to go through my university library to track down the article, when I'm not even sure if it's useful yet. So yeah, open access is a good thing.

            • So yeah, open access is a good thing.

              I have nothing against open access, I think it's a good thing and have run into that too. The solution is to force journals to be open access, not expect researchers to choose against their best interests to support it. I was just saying I don't believe in it so much I'd weaken my CV to support it.

            • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              You don't have online access to your university's journal subscriptions from your university network?

                -another PhD student

            • by xav_jones (612754)

              It's a major pain in the butt to go through my university library to track down the article, when I'm not even sure if it's useful yet. So yeah, open access is a good thing.

              That's right! In my day, going to the library to track down an article was called research.

          • Out of curiosity, anonymous person, what field is your lab in?

          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I'm a biochem post-doc working in a molecular-microbiology lab. We're studying E.coli O157:H7 and attempting to inhibit intimin formation.

            intimin is a protein on the surface of the cell membrane which allows the bacteria to adhere. no intimin and the bacteria stay in solution, therefore no more quorum sensing, no more bio-film and no infection! voila!

            Sounds easy, right? Those little critters just won't cooperate though!

            But, back to papers. At the institutions I've been at it's quantity first, quality 2nd, a

            • ntimin is a protein on the surface of the cell membrane which allows the bacteria to adhere. no intimin and the bacteria stay in solution, therefore no more quorum sensing, no more bio-film and no infection! voila!

              Sounds easy, right? Those little critters just won't cooperate though!

              I worked in a bacterial lab as an undergrad, and know that membrane protiens are hard to work with, so no, that doesn't sound easy to me at all. Although, I kill E.coli every time I try to do any cloning, so maybe it's not that tough...

              But, back to papers. At the institutions I've been at it's quantity first, quality 2nd, and brand-name distant 3rd. Quantity is easy. Quality is harder - it's best judged over time by the number of cites. If your peers cite your papers as the basis for their work, you're doing something right. Scientists are being rated [wikipedia.org] by their citations now.

              Brand name does factor into it though, while "supported open-access publications" doesn't. And you have to admit at my stage, grad student, brand-name publications are a little more important than at the post-doc or especially professor stage. I'll only have one to three p

      • by wikinerd (809585)

        If I write a paper, I'm going to try to get it in the best journal I can so it looks better on my resume.

        If I write a paper, I'm going to just put it on my webpage, or maybe at arXiv as public domain or under a licence that allows other people to copy it, and in this way any journal that wants to print it can do so. I see no reason why I should submit my writings to anyone since now with the Internet we all can publish our papers on our servers/websites. People who search for papers will find them, whether they are on personal sites or journals, just as they already find whatever they look for now.

        As for the

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)

          When I write papers, I submit them to journals so that they can be peer-reviewed, and I can get some feedback. This is usually the second publication, since I usually put an informal write-up on a blog before I start the paper (which I can point to if someone else gets a journal paper accepted first, since I have a public record of having published it first).

          Almost every journal and conference I've submitted papers to, including those owned by Springer, has allowed me to put a copy of the PDF on my own

        • I see no reason why I should submit my writings to anyone since now with the Internet we all can publish our papers on our servers/websites

          Credibility. Say what you will about peer-review and it's shortcomings, but a peer reviewed article is a lot more trustworthy in a lot of fields than just published online.

          I think it's bad for science to try to make ourselves look better based on how prestigious a journals that accepted our writings is (and what is prestige anyway?). I prefer people to judge me from the quality of my work, rather than from shortcuts like which journal published me or such things.

          It is unfortunate, but someone reviewing 300 applications realistically isn't going to judge the quality of publications for themselves. It's not about pride or prestige, it's about working where I want to next.

      • Evaluation committees don't look only at the number of lines in your CV, but at how frequently your papers are cited. Papers in closed-access journals are much less frequently cited than papers in open-access journals. At the very least, if you publish in closed-access journals and don't want to shoot yourself in the foot, you should put up a PDF on your website so potential citers can actually get your article rather than just shrugging and giving up on it (sometimes this is permitted, sometimes officially

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Phorion (963169)

        If I write a paper, I'm going to try to get it in the best journal I can so it looks better on my resume. Open access does not factor into it. I'm not about to sell myself short and publish in a lower impact journal, and hurt my career, just to make sure everyone can access it free of charge.

        But by making an article open-access you increase its distribution*, and thus you potentially increase the rate at which it is cited. Which in turn leads to a higher impact factor for the journal hosting the article. So this is actually a smart move for Springer (especially since they are getting UC to pay for it all).

        * I'm part of a university that pays for access to most academic journals, but if I can immediately access a PDF via Google Scholar (rather than the horrendous proxy handshaking required to ac

      • You could always Self-Archive [eprints.org] your papers...

  • Richard Stallman will be pissed that this is non-free because it's non-commercial; RMS only likes CC-by-sa (basically, GPL of text) ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by QuantumG (50515) *

      And just in case no-one can see his point, consider that pharmaceutical researchers will be required to purchase a different license to use medical research published under a CC-non-commercial license to actually make drugs that save lives. In a way, this announcement is a step backwards, as previously there was no explicit non-commercial requirement on scientific papers. In fact, it was assumed to be the opposite.

      • Re:Non-Free license (Score:5, Informative)

        by A beautiful mind (821714) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @06:20PM (#26646551)
        No, actually non-commercial in this context means that you can't copy the articles themselves and make money off doing that, not that the information contained within those articles cannot be applied to commercial ventures.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by QuantumG (50515) *

          http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ [creativecommons.org]
          http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/legalcode [creativecommons.org]

          4. Restrictions. The license granted in Section 3 above is expressly made subject to and limited by the following restrictions:
          b. You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.

          and section 3 is:

          3. License Grant. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below:
          c. to Distribute and Publicly Perform the Work including as incorporated in Collections; and,
          d. to Distribute and Publicly Perform Adaptations.

          See that "Publicly Perform" bit? You may not do that for commercial advantage.

          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            +5 Clueless ?

            The license covers the written paper not the subject of the paper.

            In the wording of the license, "the Work" refers to the paper, not to whatever the paper is discussing.

            If applicable, the subject of the paper would be protected by patent.

            rho

            • by QuantumG (50515) *

              What part of this is hard to understand? Science is a derivative process. Taking a scientific paper, extending it, editing it, making corrections and republishing it is a normal part of science. Demanding that people make no profit from doing such things is just a great way to discourage it.

              • IANAS and maybe I misunderstand, but I think it more likely you are intentionally being obtuse here.

                A scientic paper is a report on work done. The work is not at issue here, the paper is.

                A scientist certainly expands upon existing work, but he doesn't expand upon existing papers like a programmer does. Scientists don't take a paper, edit a few words, insert a paragraph, delete a paragraph, rotate a figure, and call it a new article.

                When someone appropriates Mickey Mouse for their own cartoon, they get in

              • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

                by Anonymous Coward

                Wow! The only conclusion I can come to after reading that is that you are simply not a scientist and have absolutely no familiarity with the modern scientific process.

                I'm a post-doc at a major university biochem lab. If I did what you just described, the ethics committee would have me out the door in a heartbeat and I'd probably never work in my field again.

                What you described is basically plagiarism.

                We do NOT take someone's paper and extend, edit & republish it as our own.

                We read papers - 10s, 100s of p

              • We're talking about a copyright license on the text of a scientific paper here. The normal status is "all rights reserved". Cc-by-nd is strictly more permissive than the default copyright. The restrictions on commercialization, public performance, etc., are all part of the copyright license on the text of the paper, nothing more. The ideas in the paper are protected, if at all, by patent law.

                • The ideas in the paper are protected, if at all, by patent law.

                  Patents are for inventions. Or rather, should be.

                  Legend has it that at one time you had to build a model or prototype to qualify for a patent. So much for progress...

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            IANAL, and I haven't read more than your post and a couple of others. But I interpret that "publicly perform" refers to "perform" in the theatrical sense. As in you can't go to a conference and present this paper in public. As for the concepts described in the paper, I don't see how anything other than patents can bind you not to use them once they're public.

          • by Artraze (600366)

            IANAL and all that, but "perform" doesn't mean what you think it means...

            This is a _copyright_ license, not a _use_(EULA, etc) license. Section 3 grants you a subset of the rights that a copyright holder has, namely distribution and creation of derivative(adapted) works. The wording "publicly perform" is a specific reference to the rights granted under copyright law.

            For science, none of that matters. Copyright only covers things like wording and data, and if you copy those, copyright violations will pale

          • See that "Publicly Perform" bit? You may not do that for commercial advantage.

            Right -- that means you can't get up on stage and read the article and charge a fee at the door for people to hear you doing so. Similarly, you can't record such a spoken-word performance, etc. etc.

            It in no way prevents you from using the ideas therein towards your own research by my reading and standard usages of licenses.

      • And just in case no-one can see his point, consider that pharmaceutical researchers will be required to purchase a different license to use medical research published under a CC-non-commercial license to actually make drugs that save lives.

        But if they're working for a for-profit enterprise, then they can afford to purchase a different license!

      • by cycoj (1010923)

        Rubbish, they can just not use the articles themselves for commercial purposes, i.e. they could not take the article and put it in e.g. a book and then sell that book. They can still use the findings in the articles for whatever way they want. They findings are not under copyright.

      • by gravos (912628)
        I think RMS would be more concerned with the trends towards universities developing proprietary systems (software et al.) that they sell. Academia is not the great hive of open source love it used to be.
    • by Chabo (880571)

      Summary of all Creative Commons licenses:
      http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/ [creativecommons.org]

  • by mdmkolbe (944892) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @07:08PM (#26647185)

    Is there some easy way I could become "UC-Affiliated" without actually having to become a student/professor there and thus get my papers published under an open license?

    It has always bothered me that the papers I publish get locked up in "digital libraries" and inaccessible to most of the world when a major point of academia is spreading ideas. In the past Springer has been particularly egregious in this regard. Maybe this will be a step in the right direction.

    • You can get a job gardening. I believe food and cleaning are outsourced at UCI, so gardening might be too. Still, given their wages, you're better off buying the article you need.

    • How about not submitting any papers to journals whose policies you disagree with?

      • by mdmkolbe (944892)

        Um, like who? The three biggest publishers in computer science (ACM, IEEE, Springer) all charge for online access(*). In addition depending on the topic (I do functional programming) there may only one or two conferences or journals for which a paper is appropriate.

        (*) Though if on a university campus you may not notice if the university has already payed for you.

        • Get together with some of your colleagues and organize an online journal. PLOS [wikipedia.org] might be willing to help you.
        • Springer allow you to put a copy of the paper on your own site, as long as you don't use their formatting. When you submit the paper to them, they will add their own documentclass to generate the PDF for publication, but you can still put the paper online using the standard article style. Not making access to your publications free is your choice, not theirs.

  • by bigbigbison (104532) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @09:55PM (#26648759) Homepage
    I'm glad to see this happening. Academic publishing has terrible practices. To get published in most journals you have to join the society that publishes the journal or subscribe to the journal. Then you have to sign over your rights to your article. In effect, you have to pay them to take your intellectual property rights!

    Then, the journal sells your article to a company that sells access to universities. However, the scam is that, as academics, we are at least in part getting paid to do research. So the university is paying me to write papers and then it has to turn around and pay someone else to get access to that very same article! (Of course they are getting access to lots more articles than just those published by their own university)

    Now, at least in the humanities, it is common to publish some articles and then turn those articles into a book. But wait, to get those articles published I had to give away my intellectual property rights. So if I want to make any use of that article, I have to get permission from the journal. Now, permission is generally given without any problem but call me crazy but I would rather not rely on someone's "generosity" in order to use my own work.

    Finally, at least in the humanities, a lot of journals are ran by societies which are at least theoretically organized by academics themselves in order to advance the field that they are devoted to. So why is it that a society organized by us and for us is taking our intellectual property? When I raised this issue to the editor of one such journal he was shocked and refused to even entertain the notion of allowing us to keep our intellectual property because "that's how the journal makes money." This isn't to imply that academic publishers are sitting on piles of money or anything that kind of attitude doesn't really seem to have the right attitude to me.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Most of the professional societies that publish journals use the profits from journal publishing to cross subsidize annual meetings. In many cases journal profits also help to pay for unnecessarily large staffs at the society headquarters.

      In my experience, the societies that are most dependent on journal subscriptions to fund the operations of the society are the ones that are most opposed to open access, allowing the posting of online preprints, and so forth- they've got the most to lose.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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