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• CommentRowNumber1.
• CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
• CommentTimeMar 5th 2012
• (edited Mar 6th 2012 by Scott Morrison)

March 2012 AMS Notices: http://dx.doi.org/10/1090.noti808 has a lot of detail on the author rights routinely granted by various publishers. The author’s survey shows that fewer than 20% of mathematical authors have even tried to argue with a publisher over rights. This is a clear first step that everyone can adopt. How do we get organizations like AMS and IMU to make clear recommendations along these lines, and make it easier by suggesting some standard language for authors to use?

• CommentRowNumber2.
• CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
• CommentTimeMar 6th 2012
• (edited Mar 6th 2012 by Scott Morrison)

In case there is difficulty with the URL, try this: http://www.ams.org/notices/201203/rtx120300436p.pdf

• CommentRowNumber3.
• CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
• CommentTimeMar 6th 2012

Hi Marc, you can make the urls into links by enclosing it in angle brackets. <http://example.com> gives http://example.com

• CommentRowNumber4.
• CommentAuthorScott Morrison
• CommentTimeMar 6th 2012

@DavidRoberts, for this to work, you need to select “Markdown” processing, rather than plain text, as Mark had done. I’ve taken the liberty of editing his posts to achieve this.

• CommentRowNumber5.
• CommentAuthorScott Morrison
• CommentTimeMar 6th 2012

Anecdotes which I’ve reported elsewhere: arguing really works. Just insist on whatever you want, and don’t give up. Remember, by the time you’re negotiating copyright, your paper has already been accepted. If there’s a problem, tell the journal staff that they have to take it to the managing editor.

• CommentRowNumber6.
• CommentAuthorHenry Cohn
• CommentTimeMar 6th 2012
I agree with Scott. Ultimately, we need to get all the rights we want built into the default publishing agreements, so that mathematicians who don't know about these issues will still be covered. However, in the meantime most journals would rather make an individual exception than have a paper withdrawn.
• CommentRowNumber7.
• CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
• CommentTimeFeb 5th 2013

I just tried arguing with Oxford University Press over being allowed to put a “postprint” (apparently a standard term for the final version after refereeing but without journal formatting) on my website. Their standard agreement has a 2 year embargo (sic - even Elsevier allows this, and the table in the article mentioned in 1. above shows that other major publishers are much more generous): http://www.oxfordjournals.org/access_purchase/self-archiving_policye.html

I argued for 0 months and got a flat refusal. Has anyone else had such experiences? I am very surprised that OUP is so different in policy from, say, CUP.

• CommentRowNumber8.
• CommentAuthorDmitri Pavlov
• CommentTimeFeb 6th 2013
Why not just upload the postprint under the appropriate free license before you sign the copyright transfer agreement?
• CommentRowNumber9.
• CommentTimeFeb 16th 2013
• (edited Feb 16th 2013)
@Scott - Just wanted to add a data point: I tried arguing (politely!) with Susan Hezlet at the LMS -- I wanted the article placed in the public domain, or at least retain copyright. Note that the article was recommended by the referee and accepted by the editor, but the publisher (Susan Hezlet) refused, eventually kicking my paper to the curb. It was basically the worst copyright experience I've had in my career (10+ years).
• CommentRowNumber10.
• CommentAuthorHenry Cohn
• CommentTimeFeb 16th 2013

I’ve never met her (or even corresponded directly), but unfortunately my impression is that among publishing staff at major mathematical societies, Susan Hezlet is one of the least supportive regarding these issues. I can’t understand why the LMS is so much more strict and demanding than the AMS, when the AMS is suffering no harm from its policies and in fact derives considerable benefit to its reputation.

• CommentRowNumber11.
• CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
• CommentTimeFeb 26th 2013

Back to my OUP experience. The editor of the journal has refused to make an exception, and they have offered me a gold OA deal, a bargain at 1700 UK pounds (!) So I guess I know what I have to do, but the whole thing is distasteful. I had no idea this publisher would be so different from, for example, CUP, and in fact worse than Elsevier. I only submitted to their journal because the natural outlet was owned by Elsevier.

• CommentRowNumber12.
• CommentAuthorYemon Choi
• CommentTimeFeb 26th 2013

Skipping over Mark’s OUP experience (hopefully not one of the LMS journals, in light of what is claimed here) - I am a bit surprised at Henry’s observation, without claiming it is in any way mistaken, just because of comments like the following:

(Warning for some readers: links to a website, with some pro-publisher views, which some of you may already be riled by)

comment by Hezlet on a blog post by Alice Meadows of Wiley

• CommentRowNumber13.
• CommentAuthorYemon Choi
• CommentTimeFeb 26th 2013

Back to Mark’s OUP experience: I’m afraid I’m not at all surprised that the likes of Springer or Elsevier might be more magnanimous than OUP, just because experience tells us that largesse is easy and relatively cheap for gangsters.

(Note for any litigous web-crawling robots: this is hyperbole and analogy, not libel. Any resemblance between Tony Soprano helping his kid’s teacher get his car – or someone’s car – back, and Elsevier indulging mathematicians for now, is purely coincidental.)

• CommentRowNumber14.
• CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
• CommentTimeFeb 27th 2013

which some of you may already be riled by

Thanks for the warning! There was much that riled me in that. I’m no lawyer, but I find statements like:

Are UK authors, their institutions, and the UK government really happy to give up all claims to any monetary gain made from the results of their published work?

quite astonishing. Publishing under a CC-BY (or similar) licence only applies to the article in question. I doubt that there is much to be gained from republishing or reselling an article. There might be profits to be made from the ideas contained therein, but those are not covered by the CC-BY part. Those would be covered by patents, and no patenting authority worth its salt (granted that there may be some that aren’t) would grant a patent on something where there was “prior art” in the form of a published article and the author was not involved in the patent application. The licence under which the article was published can have no effect on future revenue from this quarter!

I read Susan’s comment as quite conservative on that blog which fits with Henry’s description, but maybe I’m missing Yemon’s point.

• CommentRowNumber15.
• CommentAuthorYemon Choi
• CommentTimeFeb 27th 2013

Actually, on closer inspection, I misread Susan Hezlet’s comment, and now incline more towards Henry’s reading. I still can’t say I’m hugely surprised, though.

Andrew’s point about CC-BY is something I didn’t know, although I guess that in different disciplines there might be more to gain by filching someone’s article and passing it off as one’s own synthesis/exposition/whatever.

• CommentRowNumber16.
• CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
• CommentTimeFeb 27th 2013

passing it off as one’s own synthesis/exposition/whatever.

That would then violate the license, and also count as plagiarism, which happens anyway, even with strictest copyright.