Re: Alma Swan on Open Access in American Scientist (the journal)

From: Rosalind Reid <reid_at_AMSCI.ORG>
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 19:49:40 -0400

Just to reinforce Stevan's point:

PDF download is a convenience that we "sell" to nonmembers to support
operation of American Scientist Online, thus enabling most of the
magazine's content to be made available barrier-free in HTML. We give
each author a copy of the PDF and do not restrict the author's use of
it. Exception: We advise that when a PDF contains material (such as
commercial photography or fine art) belonging to a third party,
additional permissions may be required.

In fact, I'm happy to say that transfer of copyright to Sigma Xi is
voluntary, and we allow authors to retain whatever rights are
important to them. Publishers don't have to dictate these things,
even though standardized publishing agreements are the norm in
journal publishing and are generally easier to administer.

Rosalind Reid
Editor, American Scientist

On Apr 5, 2007, at 1:23 PM, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> On Thu, 5 Apr 2007, Sylvan Katz wrote:
>>> Alma Swan's article "Open Access and the Progress of Science"
>>> has
>>> just appeared in American Scientist (the journal) May-June
>>> Issue 2007:
>>> 55131
>> I had a good laugh when I read the article about open-access and
>> then tried
>> to download the pdf file to my archive for reference ONLY to
>> receive the
>> message
>> "If you are an active member of Sigma Xi, please log in now to
>> download
>> this PDF for free. If you are an American Scientist subscriber,
>> log in now
>> to proceed with your order request. Subscribers pay $5 per PDF.
>> Public
>> users pay $12 per PDF. Click here to proceed with your download as
>> a public
>> user."
>> The irony was just too much!
> But there is no irony at all!
> Open Access means free access online.
> You accessed the entire article (html version, in three pieces),
> freely,
> online at the AmSci's own website.
> In addition, Alma Swan, an advocate of self-archiving, will no
> doubt self-archive the article in her Institutional Repository.
> The fact that the American Scientist (a subscription-based journal,
> not
> a Gold OA journal) does not give away its PDF for free is not an
> irony,
> and is not a handicap, as long as AmSci does not try to prevent
> Alma from
> self-archiving (and it does not).
> Hence the version you read free on the AmSci site is in fact a
> *bonus*,
> not an irony!
> Stevan Harnad
> PS You could, of course, have downloaded the HTML version you
> accessed!
> (There are still *profound* misunderstandings about the true power and
> potential of the online medium -- and of what comes with the
> territory,
> when you make a text OA.)
Received on Fri Apr 06 2007 - 02:57:08 BST

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