Category: Authors’ Rights

Confused about copyright? Assessing Researchers’ Comprehension of Copyright Transfer Agreements | JLSC

By Alexandra Kohn and Jessica Lange via the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication:

Abstract:

“INTRODUCTION Academic authors’ confusion about copyright and publisher policy is often cited as a challenge to their effective sharing of their own published research, from having a chilling effect on selfarchiving in institutional and subject repositories, to leading to the posting of versions of articles on social networking sites in contravention of publisher policy and beyond. This study seeks to determine the extent to which authors understand the terms of these policies as expressed in publishers’ copyright transfer agreements (CTAs), taking into account such factors as the authors’ disciplines and publishing experience, as well as the wording and structure of these agreements. METHODS We distributed an online survey experiment to corresponding authors of academic research articles indexed in the Scopus database. Participants were randomly assigned to read one of two copyright transfer agreements and were subsequently asked to answer a series of questions about these agreements to determine their level of comprehension. The survey was sent to 3,154 participants, with 122 responding, representing a 4% response rate. Basic demographic information as well as information about participants’ previous publishing experience was also collected. We analyzed the survey data using Ordinary Least Squared (OLS) regressions and probit regressions. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Participants demonstrated a low rate of understanding of the terms of the CTAs they were asked to read. Participants averaged a score of 33% on the survey, indicating a low comprehension level of author rights. This figure did not vary significantly, regardless of the respondents’ discipline, time in academia, level of experience with publishing, or whether or not they had published previously with the publisher whose CTA they were administered. Results also indicated that participants did equally poorly on the survey regardless of which of the two CTAs they received. However, academic authors do appear to have a greater chance of understanding a CTA when a specific activity is explicitly outlined in the text of the agreement.”

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Source: Confused about copyright? Assessing Researchers’ Comprehension of Copyright Transfer Agreements

Announcing the Authors Alliance Guide to Understanding and Negotiating Book Publication Contracts! | Authors Alliance

From the Authors Alliance:

“We are delighted to share our brand-new guide to Understanding and Negotiating Book Publication Contracts.

Now available to the public (following a special pre-release to our Kickstarter backers), this new guide is the latest addition to our growing library of resources for authors, which also includes educational handbooks on rights reversion, open access, and fair use.

Copyright law and contract language are complex, even for attorneys and experts. Authors may be tempted to sign the first version of a publication contract that they receive, especially if negotiating seems complicated, intimidating, or risky. But there is a lot at stake for authors in a book deal, and it is well worth the effort to read the contract, understand its contents, and negotiate for favorable terms.”

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Source: Announcing the Authors Alliance Guide to Understanding and Negotiating Book Publication Contracts! | Authors Alliance

Publishers accuse ResearchGate of mass copyright infringement | Inside Higher Learning

From Lindsay McKenzie via Inside Higher Learning:

“ResearchGate, a popular for-profit academic social network that makes it easy to find and download research papers, is facing increasing pressure from publishers to change the way it operates…

The publishers accuse ResearchGate of “massive infringement of peer-reviewed, published journal articles.” They say that the networking site is illegally obtaining and distributing research papers protected by copyright law. They also suggest that the site is deliberately tricking researchers into uploading protected content. A spokesperson for ResearchGate declined to comment on the accusations.”

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Source: Publishers accuse ResearchGate of mass copyright infringement

Format Aside: Applying Beall’s Criteria to Assess the Predatory Nature of both OA and Non-OA Library and Information Science Journals | Olivarez | College & Research Libraries

From CR&L (with thanks to The Idealis):

“Abstract: Jeffrey Beall’s blog listing of potential predatory journals and publishers, as well as his Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access (OA) Publishers are often looked at as tools to help researchers avoid publishing in predatory journals. While these Criteria has brought a greater awareness of OA predatory journals, these tools alone should not be used as the only source in determining the quality of a scholarly journal….”

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Source: Format Aside: Applying Beall’s Criteria to Assess the Predatory Nature of both OA and Non-OA Library and Information Science Journals | Olivarez | College & Research Libraries

Federal Trade Commission and National Institutes of Health Take Action Against Predatory Publishing Practices – The Scholarly Kitchen

From Rick Anderson via the Scholarly Kitchen:

In an interesting and potentially significant move for the scholarly publishing world, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada has granted a preliminary injunction against a major journal publisher and conference organizer in response to a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The injunction was granted on the basis of the Court’s analysis of evidence provided by the FTC and its finding that the FTC’s complaint, if allowed to proceed, “is likely to succeed on the merits” and that the public interest would be served by granting it.

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Source: Federal Trade Commission and National Institutes of Health Take Action Against Predatory Publishing Practices – The Scholarly Kitchen