Science Commons in the news …
June 5th, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney
Information World Review and SPARC’s Open Access Newsletter both feature pieces this month highlighting a new set of online tools recently released by Science Commons and SPARC. The toolkit aims to help authors retain critical rights over their scholarly works.
From IWR’s article, “Commons copyright targets scientists”, which was posted today:
“Science Commons, a project by copyright body Creative Commons , has got together with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (Sparc) to draft amendments to copyright agreements that will make it easier for authors to retain rights, including the right to reuse their articles and to post them in repositories.
‘This is about authors’ rights,’ said John Wilbanks, vice-president [for] Science Commons. ‘Right now, authors trade the most important rights – like the right to make copies of their own scholarly works – to traditional publishers. That trade has led to an imbalanced world of restricted access to knowledge, skyrocketing journal prices, and an inability to apply new technologies to the scholarly canon of knowledge.'”
NOTE: We here at Science Commons are maintaining a list of publishers that make these rights part of their relationships with authors. If you are a publisher who is compliant with the amendments requested in these author addenda, we encourage you to notify us. Doing so will aid us in gathering the empirical evidence necessary to continue our work surveying such problems in scholarly publishing.
Also, in this month’s edition of SPARC’s Open Access Newsletter (SOAN) …
“[...] SPARC and Science Commons (SC) announced that they were consolidating their addenda, strengthening them, and releasing an online tool to produce customized versions of them. [...]
Together SPARC and SC now offer four coordinated addenda, depending on the author’s needs. The online “Addendum Engine” lets authors select the addendum best for them and print a copy with article and publisher information already filled in.
One of the four is the pre-existing MIT addendum from January 2006. The others are the three published by Science Commons in June 2006 with one of them modified to incorporate elements from the SPARC addendum of March 2005. All three of the SPARC-SC addenda allow the author to retain the right to make, use, and distribute derivative works. One uses a Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial) license to free up users as well as the author. One allows immediate self-archiving of the published version of the article, and one allows immediate self-archiving of the peer-reviewed manuscript and only delayed self-archiving of the published version.”