Thursday, May 01, 2008

Science Commons » Blog Archive » Rockefeller U. Press Uses CC Licenses to Reduce Permission Barriers

Good Open Access news from Rockefeller Press. They have decided to change their publishing policies and are making them much more open. Emma Hill, who used to work at PLoS Biology and is now the Editor of J. Cell Biol. from Rockefeller has an editorial (with Mike Rossner) about the change including details of the new policy and some of the reasons for the change.

Among the changes they make and some of the reasons why
  • Giving copyright to the authors.
    • This is a good thing and about time for them to do it. They say: "Preying on authors' desire to publish, and thus their willingness to sign virtually any form placed in front of them, scientific publishers have traditionally required authors to sign over the copyright to their work before publication. "
  • Adopting a Creative Commons license.
    • They say "What does this Creative Commons License mean? It means that our published content will be open for reuse, distribution, data mining, etc., by anyone, as long as attribution is made to the original work. Share-alike means that any subsequent distribution must follow the rules set out in this license. Non-commercial means that published work can be reused without permission, as long as it is for noncommercial purposes."
    • This to me is the most important part of their policy. CC licenses change everything - they make it easy for everyone to use the material.
  • They retain an exclusive license for 6 months. After the 6 months, the material has the full CC license and can be distributed anywhere as long as it is attributed and not for commercial use.
Overall, I think this change is a good thing. It is still not the full Open Access I prefer, but it is a great step in the right direction. Also see a blog by Science Commons discussing the new policy - see Science Commons. They are overwhelmingly positive. See also Peter Suber here.

On extra nice thing about the policy is they are making it retroactive for all their publications in the past. So lots of Rockefeller press stuff from the past has now become much more open.

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