Re: Is ESA first?

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 21:25:53 +0000

On Mon, 13 Mar 2000, Thomas J. Walker wrote:

>sh>Thomas, maybe it's just me, but I still can't determine from the
>sh>above: Does or does not ESA allow author self-archiving (of their own
>sh>final, accepted draft), without having to pay ESA anything extra? If it
>sh>does, then this is a true, benign option, and the most progressive one
>sh>I've seen to date, completely in harmony with the mission of a learned
>sh>society and the possibilities opened up by the new medium.
> To spell it out, ESA requires its authors to sign away _all_ their rights
> to their articles. It _should_ do what APS has done and specifically
> permit self-archiving of the content of the refereed version. In ESA's
> defense, I am sure ESA's GB would never authorize taking action against an
> author who self-archived content. In fact I was told that in a straw vote
> in June 1999, ESA's GB voted unanimously that ESA could not expect to
> continue to make money selling content. [This vote was not recorded in the
> minutes.]

In that case I withdraw my praise of ESA! It's not relevant that they
would not in reality prosecute. (No Learned Society would: the conflict
of interest would be too blatant and the membership would revolt.) But
the PERCEIVED restriction (because of the copyright agreement, and
despite the easy, legal Oppenheim-plan for getting around it) is bound
to contribute to retarding our passage to the optimal and the
inevitable for research and researchers, and that is inexcusable.

Stevan Harnad
Professor of Cognitive Science
Department of Electronics and phone: +44 23-80 592-582
             Computer Science fax: +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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