Copyrights of publicly funded research

I am responding to a blog post by Stu where he highlights the benefits of the Budapest Open Access Initiative.

Artefacts created by publicly funded institutions should be licensed in the public domain, using licences such as the creative commons. I agree with you Stu. This ensures that it remains in the public domain, including all derivatives for future generations to enjoy. As a semi-active researcher, it bothers me that I no longer hold the copyright to papers that I have written and published in journals. In fact, one publisher had the gall to reprint a paper I wrote as a book chapter, and then asked me to buy the book, and encourage my institution’s library to do the same.

As a researcher it also frustrates me when I come up against paywalls for articles. It is frightening to me just how much of the global body of knowledge is owned by such a small number of very large corporate conglomerates. I am encouraged by the actions of Princeton University and many others who are creating policy:

aimed at broadening the reach of their scholarly work and encouraging publishers to adjust standard contracts that commonly require exclusive copyright as a condition of publication.

Academic publishers have been on a good wicket for a long time.  It’s time for a change.

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