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Scholarly Publishing, Copyright, and the Web

In a big hurry to get some non-blogging work done today, so I’m going to beg off by steering you all to Rory‘s thoughts on the manipulation of intellectual property laws by scholarly publications and the difficulties said manipulation poses to a scholar who takes his/her web-presence seriously (not to mention one who wishes to promote the web’s early raison d’?™tre as a means of making research freely and easily available to the scholarly community):

I want to see that happen, yet in my own day-to-day practice have been holding back, in case I have to publish in journals which won’t consider submissions that have already appeared online (most of which don’t publish freely to the web either). So: I can’t put my work online before print publication, when it has the highest chance of appearing topical and fresh and sparking interesting discussions with my peers; and I can’t put it online after print publication, because someone else will own the copyright and want to rent it back to my university library; so in effect, I can’t put online academic work which is all about working as an academic online in order to discuss its implications online with fellow academics.

He’s come to some interesting and provocative conclusions — ones that I hope more fellow academics might pursue.


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