Are Publishers Ready for the JISC/SURF Licence to Publish Author Agreement and Its Principles?

The SURFfoundation has published Acceptance of the JISC/SURF Licence to Publish & accompanying Principles by Traditional Publishers of Journals.

Here's an excerpt from the "Management Survey" section (I have added the link to the Licence to Publish):

In 2006, JISC and SURF drafted several Principles and a model Licence to Publish in order to persuade traditional publishers of journals to move in the direction of Open Access objectives. According to these Principles:

  1. the author merely issues a licence to publish instead of transferring his/her copyright.
  2. the author may freely deposit the publisher-generated PDF files of his/her article in an institutional repository, with an embargo of no longer than 6 months.

To set an example, a model Licence to Publish (hereafter: LtP) was drawn up as well. Yet, using the LtP is not a necessary requirement for meeting the—more important—Open Access objectives of the Principles.

This report presents the results of an enquiry by e-mail among 47 traditional publishers of journals. They were asked whether they would support the Principles and/or the LtP, which had first been explained to them. Two Open Access publishers were also asked for a reaction merely out of interest, since they do not belong to the target group. . .

The results showed that a substantial group of one-third of the contacted publishers conforms to the first aspect of the Principles; they make use of a licence to publish instead of a copyright transfer. Furthermore, the same number of publishers (16) already has a repository policy in place which is compatible with the Principles. Moreover, 7 publishers conform to both aspects and thus they endorse all the Principles. The support for the model LtP developed by SURF and JISC, however was low; no publisher did as yet endorse it.

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