Re: Legal ways around copyright for one's own giveaway texts

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 17:40:58 +0100

On Sun, 9 Jul 2000, Christopher D. Green wrote:

>sh> Please note that you are now asking about embargo POLICY, not copyright
>sh> LAW, and embargo policy has no legal status. It is merely a practice
>sh> that a journal may or may not adopt, and may or may not follow (such as
>sh> not accepting articles in Spanish or on Experimental Oenology).
> This is a fine distinction in principle, but in practice it makes no
> difference for people who must attempt to publish in American
> Psychological Assocaition journals in order to advance (or even
> maintain) their academic careers now. The simple fact (whether legal,
> political, or even crassly careerist) is that scientific psychologists
> will not be self-archiving in droves until the problem is resolved.

Don't be so pessimistic! The problem IS solved, insofar as legality is
concerned. Moreover, the APA embargo policy is not even enforceable. So
it is now all just about PERCEIVED (but unreal) risk: I know Physicists
are somewhat brighter than us Psychologists, but not THAT much
brighter. We will catch on soon, especially with the help of
interoperable Open Archives, as they sprout at the universities and
begin to fill with distributed content. The universities will be allies
too, with their embattled periodicals budgets. But the biggest ally
will be the palpably growing impact of those who ARE sensible enough to
take this small step:

We are developing citation-analytic and other informetric/webmetric
tools to measure, estimate and predict the enhanced impact gained by
freely accessible refereed papers compared to "controls" kept behind the
financial firewall:

See also:

> Despite your apparent optimism about the matter, I have seen no
> indication that APA will "see the light" given the extraordinary degree
> of control they currently have. As you know better than most, they have
> been relatively resistant to even acknowledging the importance of
> electronic media.

Just a bit more patience (and a bit more boldness)...

> Question: Do you know what the current policies are among the few,
> major non-APA scientific psychology journals? e.g., American Journal of
> Psychology (U. Illinois), Psychological Science (APS), Cognitive
> Science (Ablex), and Cognition (Elsevier) come immediately to mind.
> There must be others as well.

No I don't, but as you know, I am not a supporter of the "switch"
strategy, not even among established journals, to favor the ones that
allow self-archiving (although it is again a strategy I wish well).

The strategy I advocate is the legal but subversive one of BOTH
sticking to one's established journal of choice AND self-archiving.

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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