Several Publisher Associations Release Joint Statement on Journal Publishing Agreements and Copyright Agreement Addenda

The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM), the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers (PSP), and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) have released the "STM/PSP/ALPSP Statement on Journal Publishing Agreements and Copyright Agreement 'Addenda'."

Here's an excerpt from the STM press release:

The debate on the rights that authors have (or indeed it is claimed inaccurately, do not have) over their published works continues to rage, and much coverage has been given to purportedly restrictive practices or policies, when in fact they do not exist for the majority of publishers.

The most recent examples surround the vote of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard for university ownership and distribution of research papers (February 2008). One advocate of the Harvard policy claims that this step was taken because "the scholarly publishing system has become far more restrictive than it need be [… m]any publishers will not even allow scholars to use and distribute their own work." (See http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2008/02.14/99-fasvote.html).

This is not only an inaccurate perception of the role of publishers and copyright, but also means that advocating authors to modify existing journal publishing agreements with "copyright addenda" is simply a call for needless bureaucracy. . . .

STM publishers invariably allow the authors of journal articles to use their published papers in their own teaching and for educational purposes generally within their institutions. Most journals have policies that permit authors to provide copies of their papers to research colleagues, and to re-use portions of their papers in further works or books. Although some news-oriented science and medical magazines have a few restrictions on pre-publication posting, almost all research journals permit the posting by the author or the author's institution of some version of the paper on the Internet.

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