Library News - May 2007
SSEC Employee News: May 2007
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Library News

By Jean Phillips, Librarian


Faculty Senate Passes Resolution to Assist Authors in Managing Publishing Agreements

The University Library Committee unanimously passed on 13 April 2007 a resolution in support of assisting university authors in managing their publishing rights and agreements. The issue was then taken up by the Faculty Senate on 7 May 2007 and approved as Faculty Document 1994.

According to Ed Van Gemert, Acting Director of Libraries, "the resolution supports the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Provosts' Statement on Publishing Agreements. [It] encourages the use of the addendum to publication agreements for CIC authors to ensure that academic authors retain certain intellectual property rights that facilitate archiving, instructional use, and sharing with colleagues to advance discourse and discovery."

Institutions and organizations around the world, including the CIC provosts, are leading initiatives to inform authors in all disciplines about their rights and how to retain them. When scholarship is published in journals or elsewhere, publishers typically ask authors to sign a transfer agreement, or contract, that describes the assignment of rights to the publisher of the intellectual property. These agreements often result in the deprivation of various authors’ rights such as the right to post the article on the public internet or to make copies for classroom use. According to traditional publication agreement, all rights—including copyright—are typically surrendered to the publisher.[Faculty Document 1994]

The CIC provosts suggest that faculty authors consider a number of factors when choosing and interacting with publishers for their works. The goal of publication should be to encourage widespread dissemination and impact; the means for accomplishing this will necessarily depend on the nature of the work in question, the author’s circumstances, available suitable outlets, and expectations in the author’s field of inquiry.

The Library Committee amended the original CIC addendum distributed by the CIC provosts to include subsection 4 that was derived from ARL’s Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). ARL/SPARC has been an international leader in the discussion of author rights and scholarly communications. This sub-section is a default clause that states that in the event that the publisher publishes the article in the journal without signing a copy of the addendum, the publisher will be deemed to have assented to the terms of the addendum.[Faculty Document 1994]

The passage of this resolution provides for greater opportunities for university-wide discussion of these issues and will also help in assessing options for scholarly publication. In the last few weeks, the faculty senates at the University of Minnesota and the University of Illinois-Urbana, have endorsed the CIC Provosts' Statement on Publication Agreement as well.

To read more about it:

Hirtle, Peter B. An examination of five alternatives. D-Lib Magazine, v.12, no.11, November 2006.

Phillips, Jean M. Copyright policies of scientific publishers and their requirements for posting electronic copies of articles. Schwerdtfeger Library News, March 2006.

Tanner, R. Michael. Copyrights and the paradox of scholarly publishing. University of Illinois at Chicago, 2006.

Weller, Ann C. Electronic scientific information, open access, and editorial peer review: Changes on the horizon? Science & Technology Libraries, v.26, no.1, 2005.


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