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Researchers Opt To Limit Uses of Open-access Publications 172

Posted by timothy
from the this-much-and-no-more dept.
ananyo writes "How open do researchers want open-access papers to be? Apparently, not that open — when given a choice of licenses, most opt to limit the use of data and words in their open-access publications, according to figures released by the open-access journal Scientific Reports. Since July 2012 the journal has been offering researchers a choice of three types of license. The first, most liberal license, CC-BY, allows anyone, even commercial organizations, to re-use it. A more restrictive version, CC-BY-NC-SA, lets others remix, tweak and build on work if they give credit to the original author, but only for non-commercial (NC) purposes, and only if they license what they produce under the same terms (SA, or 'share-alike'). A third licence, CC-BY-NC-ND, is the most restrictive, allowing others to download and share work, but not to change it in any way (ND, 'no derivative works'), or use it commercially. The results from Scientific Reports shows that, for the 685 papers accepted by the journal, authors chose either of the more restrictive licences 95% of the time — and the most restrictive, CC-BY-NC-ND, 68% of the time."
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Researchers Opt To Limit Uses of Open-access Publications

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  • Researchers don't generally care about their papers being open access or not. They use open access journals because they are easy to get published in (they are mostly 'author pays' publications with very low standards) or because their funder mandates it.

    • by fantomas (94850) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @08:58AM (#42819571)

      "Researchers don't generally care about their papers being open access or not."

      - quite a blanket statement. Quite a few researchers in my area are very enthusiastic about open access journals from a philosophical standpoint rather than "because they are easy to get published in" (plenty of poor quality closed journals fit into that category, they spam us regularly).

      Evidence please. Or we're just slinging personal anecdotes here. Which wouldn't get us published in a decent peer-reviewed journal ;-)

      • by stranger_to_himself (1132241) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:06AM (#42819635) Journal

        Evidence please. Or we're just slinging personal anecdotes here. Which wouldn't get us published in a decent peer-reviewed journal ;-)

        Well it is anecdotal, but I've been in literally hundreds of 'which journal should I send my paper to' discussions (I've been doing this a long time), and the factors that come up are (in this order) (1) impact factor (2) readership, ie which society is the journal affiliated with (3) likely success (4) cost of publication. Nobody has ever once said to me "I want to send to journal X because they are open access".

        I think most would agree in principle that open access is a good thing, but when it comes to having your work seen, read and acknowledged by the right people it completely goes out the window. This is medical research btw, different fields may differ.

        • by elfprince13 (1521333) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:24AM (#42819755) Homepage
          and what field are you in? Sharing culture varies radically depending on discipline.
          • by stranger_to_himself (1132241) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:39AM (#42819901) Journal

            and what field are you in? Sharing culture varies radically depending on discipline.

            Medicine. I agree it's less open that many disciplines. Like I said, I think open access is generally a good thing. But in my vast experience, people actually doing research genuinely don't care, as they know that people at other universities will be able to read their work whether its open or not.

            As an aside - a lot of universities are rejecting the 'Gold' open access standard (the author pays version) because it is horrendously expensive for authors (usually 1000-2000 per article). They are instead preferring the 'Green' open access model, where the journal keeps the copyright to the final copyedited version, but lets researchers distribute their own version on a personal or institutional website. This is probably the way of the future because we can't keep paying stupidly high open access publishing fees.

            • As an aside - a lot of universities are rejecting the 'Gold' open access standard (the author pays version) because it is horrendously expensive for authors (usually 1000-2000 per article)

              This is true, and it is an important factor, but don't forget that this is still cheaper than a decent conference.

              Many world-class conferences (ICPR, for example) are charging up to USD 1000 for registration, and a visit there will easily cost you another thousand after you factor in the flight, hotel, and meals.

              At least in my field (computer science), it is standard practice to provide preprints for free on your official webpage. In the case a specific journal complains (I've never had this happen), people

              • Many world-class conferences (ICPR, for example) are charging up to USD 1000 for registration

                This depends on your field. You would not get many particle physicists at a conference with a $1,000 registration fee!

                • This depends on your field. You would not get many particle physicists at a conference with a $1,000 registration fee!

                  I completely believe you. "Normal" conference fees in Computer Science tend to be in the $300-$500 range. I've mentioned ICPR [icpr2012.org] because there was quite an uproar when the registration fee was announced last year.

                  There are two things you must keep in mind, though. First is that in Computer Science, conference papers are really, really important. Far more important than in any other field. Journal papers are outdated the moment they are accepted for publication and hopelessly outdated by the time they arrive in

            • Hang out with computer science or math people for a while. It'll blow your mind. A culture that produced RMS would have to ;)
              • Hang out with computer science or math people for a while. It'll blow your mind. A culture that produced RMS would have to ;)

                I'm reading Slashdot! And I used to be a mathematician back when you had to submit papers to journals by mail.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Your anecdote doesn't explain why there's a whole Open Access movement to begin with. Who do you think are leading this? If researchers didn't care, then "open access" wouldn't even exist as a term.

          I suggest that the people you're hanging around are just behind the curve. Certainly the charge is lead by researchers that have 'embraced the internet'. Given that I recently saw someone writing a medical paper in MS Word using Comic Sans, I guess it's not your guys. This will change once they realize that their

          • This will change once they realize that their number (1) is positively correlated with open access; more easily available equals more read equals more citations equals higher impact.

            Well of course. As I said its about impact factor. If and when open access journals get decent impact factors, researchers will be more inclined to use them.

            • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @07:07PM (#42827143) Journal

              As I said its about impact factor. If and when open access journals get decent impact factors, researchers will be more inclined to use them.

              It is not just about impact factor. I would not want to release a paper without a ND licence because a scientific paper is not the same as a book or manual. It is essentially scientific "speech" where you communicate your ideas to others. They are then free to take that idea and run with it but I do not want some random stranger downloading the paper, editing it to change those ideas and conclusions, and then resubmitting it with my name associated with it. If they want to write their own paper then great - use the data, argue that my conclusions are wrong etc. but you don't get to edit my paper even if you willingly acknowledge I wrote it you have to write your own so it is clear whose opinion is being expressed.

              This is particularly true in more controversial fields - imagine what would happen in climate change or evolutionary fields if anyone can download, edit and then resubmit papers. You could completely alter the meaning of the paper and resubmit it with credit given to the original authors who, by implication, will appear to be supporting whatever you wrote.

        • Nobody has ever once said to me "I want to send to journal X because they are open access".

          No shit! It turns out that scientists first and foremost need to eat, i.e. need to stay in employment, i.e. submit to journals that potential employers and funding bodies car about. In the brutal publish or perish environment everything else has to be secondary for everyone who is not already so famous that they get money no matter where they publish.

          In my old field most people put all papers up on their website anywa

          • by Zordak (123132)

            i.e. submit to journals that potential employers and funding bodies car about

            I don't get your car analogy. Could you please elaborate? </smarmy>

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Medical research as well, and the issue of open access has come up. It's down the list, but it is starting to come up.

          At the same time, I'm about to submit to a journal (JCI) that's essentially always been open access. It's not a new idea. And if being open access is more than a philosophical advantage then it will show in your (1) and probably (2).

          But this article isn't about open access. It's about letting people "remix" your paper and use it for whatever they want. Which I think is a horrible idea.

      • "Researchers don't generally care about their papers being open access or not."

        - quite a blanket statement. Quite a few researchers in my area are very enthusiastic about open access journals from a philosophical standpoint rather than "because they are easy to get published in" (plenty of poor quality closed journals fit into that category, they spam us regularly).

        Evidence please. Or we're just slinging personal anecdotes here. Which wouldn't get us published in a decent peer-reviewed journal ;-)

        ===
        They may object if there was plagerism. Open means visible to all

        • Plagarism exists in closed journals as well. It didn't start with the open access journals movement. You as an author can declare how you'd like your work to be protected (look up "creative commons licences" if this is new to you). Whatever licence you issue under, including the closed journal copyright agreements that are very restrictive, people may rip off your work.

          Visible to all is what many people would like to achieve! Certainly, some of us don't like the idea that the tax payers pay for our work and

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For genuine science, one should use reputable commercial publishers and journals such as "Chaos Solitons and Fractals" and the "Australasian Journals of Bone and Joint Medicine" both published by Elsevier.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I would disagree with the statement that open-access journals are somehow cheaper or of lower quality. Nature and PLoS both have open access journals in which the quality of research must be fairly rigorous. As well, both of these publications are more expensive to publish in, precisely because there is no print-ad revenue to offset the cost of the publication. I think that researchers do care about open access, whether or not their funding agencies mandate open-access (as an aside, if tax dollars funded th

    • by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:14AM (#42819687) Journal

      Researchers don't generally care about their papers being open access or not. They use open access journals because they are easy to get published in (they are mostly 'author pays' publications with very low standards) or because their funder mandates it.

      Not true at all. Most researchers (I would say it's a large majority) prefer open-access because of the better exposure of their work, and because of an innate desire to share their science with everybody. There are scientists with views differing from this, but they are, as far as I could see (and I, as a researcher that travels a lot to conferences and does research abroad often, have met a huge number of my colleagues) a small minority.

      • by paiute (550198) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:37AM (#42819877)

        Not true at all. Most researchers (I would say it's a large majority) prefer open-access because of the better exposure of their work, and because of an innate desire to share their science with everybody. There are scientists with views differing from this, but they are, as far as I could see (and I, as a researcher that travels a lot to conferences and does research abroad often, have met a huge number of my colleagues) a small minority.

        Not always true in my experience. One's enthusiasm for open access scientific publishing changes radically depending on whether you are publishing a paper or trying to access a paper. If you are publishing a paper then you want to have it in the most prestigious vehicle you can get into. It looks better on the CV come tenure or job interview time. For chemistry, say, you want to publish in JACS or JOC. But if I am reading the literature then I curse the bastards who published in JACS and JOC because I might not have free access to those journals.

        • Not always true in my experience. One's enthusiasm for open access scientific publishing changes radically depending on whether you are publishing a paper or trying to access a paper. If you are publishing a paper then you want to have it in the most prestigious vehicle you can get into. It looks better on the CV come tenure or job interview time. For chemistry, say, you want to publish in JACS or JOC. But if I am reading the literature then I curse the bastards who published in JACS and JOC because I might not have free access to those journals.

          You are misreading/misinterpreting the point I was trying to make (which may be also my fault). To answer you, I'll just quote another post in this very thread: [slashdot.org]

          All things being equal, I would certainly lean towards using open access journals, simply because I prefer my work to get as much exposure as possible, but all things are not equal.

    • by niftydude (1745144) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:20AM (#42819719)

      Researchers don't generally care about their papers being open access or not.

      I'd like to use open access journals, but there are two things stopping me. Other people's money and my money.

      1) Other people's money: Most open access journals I've come across in my field charge >$1000 to let you publish in them (as opposed to traditional journals which generally charge nothing). This is pretty much not an option in the current cash-strapped academic environment, funding bodies don't like to see their money spent on things like this, they want to pay for research.

      2) My money: Most open access journals are newish, and so have a lower impact factor than traditional journals. The university I do work for remunerates researchers based on a sliding scale based on the impact factor of the journals they publish in, so publishing an article in a lower impact factor journal results in substantially less take-home pay for me.

      All things being equal, I would certainly lean towards using open access journals, simply because I prefer my work to get as much exposure as possible, but all things are not equal.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        1) Other people's money: Most open access journals I've come across in my field charge >$1000 to let you publish in them (as opposed to traditional journals which generally charge nothing). This is pretty much not an option in the current cash-strapped academic environment, funding bodies don't like to see their money spent on things like this, they want to pay for research.

        I don't know about other funding bodies but every project funded by the EU framework program I've been involved with had a budget for dissemination which covers things like conferences, exhibitions and publication of papers and books.

        • by codegen (103601)
          Depends on the area. In some areas like astronomy, page charges are normal and the funding bodies allow budget lines. Other areas page charges are not normal and funding agencies question budget lines for page charges.
        • 1) Other people's money: Most open access journals I've come across in my field charge >$1000 to let you publish in them (as opposed to traditional journals which generally charge nothing). This is pretty much not an option in the current cash-strapped academic environment, funding bodies don't like to see their money spent on things like this, they want to pay for research.

          I don't know about other funding bodies but every project funded by the EU framework program I've been involved with had a budget for dissemination which covers things like conferences, exhibitions and publication of papers and books.

          Most charity funders refuse to pay these - also the Medical Research Council as of this year stopped people putting open access fees explicitly into budgets (even though they mandate open access). The universities have to find the money themselves.

    • Almost right..... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:32AM (#42819829)

      Science researchers live and die by their publications. Their papers are their currency. To let someone completely modify it and not even attribute it back to them is near professional suicide, unless you're already so famous that you don't need additional papers. As a result, you're right, they don't care that much whether journals are open access or not. They really care about whether publishing their paper somewhere is going to help their career, or hurt it. The first license is at best not going to help, at worst going to hurt it. That leaves the other two, with the final one being the one that guarantees that your name will stay attached to it, and that it will stay as they wrote it.

      Note that even the final license let's anyone view it, download it and pass it around. That's pretty damn good open access, and exactly what is needed. The rest is just what the scientists want to see happen to their paper.

      • by psnyder (1326089) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @10:44AM (#42820457)
        This! CC-BY-NC-ND is already an extremely open license. It can be shared and read freely so that other researchers can get ideas from it for their own research.

        What other people CAN'T do:
        • BY: they can't plagiarize (they must attribute the work)
        • NC: they can't sell it (non-commercial purposes only)
        • ND: they can't paraphrase and take things out of context (if someone copies it, they copy the full paper, in its original form)

        The article worries about the inability to do text mining and translations. Good points, and they mention an organization working on a license just like the CC-BY-NC-ND that would allow text mining and translations. Good for them.

        The rest of it is FUD claiming researchers don't understand the license. I disagree. CC-BY-NC-ND is being used the most because its the best license for openly sharing while still protecting their work.

        • by cozziewozzie (344246) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @12:07PM (#42821365)

          I completely agree and was stumped by the article. CC-BY-NC-ND is chosen because it is the most meaningful license for the job.

          A good paper takes many weeks (sometimes months) of careful preparation, and every word is weighed heavily. Careless rephrasing and remixing by somebody who does not fully understand the paper (and this is very common with advanced topics) can kill your career.

          People are already allowed to share it free of charge, read it free of charge, reproduce the ideas therein, build upon these ideas, and using excerpts and figures from the paper is already covered by fair use in most countries. If you really need somebody's exact text, you cite it.

          I'm a proponent of sharing, but what exactly is the point of releasing scientific articles under CC-BY? Only scientists and highly technical people read them anyway, and they have no use for CC-BY. Is it so some publisher can sell it although it's freely available? So someone can plagiarise and "remix" your paper? Such a paper would be rejected by any sane conference or journal anyway. Who exactly is being harmed here?

      • To let someone completely modify it and not even attribute it back to them is near professional suicide

        Almost almost right... In the article at the top of this discussion, the least restrictive (that is, the most permissive) license choice given was CC-BY. It - and indeed, all three licenses listed - require that attribution be preserved as a condition of reuse. That said, I'm on board with most of the rest of your comment. If we look at how most scientists expect and hope their published papers to be used, then even the no-derivative-works, non-commercial-only CC-BY-NC-ND license works just fine.

        The

        • n the article at the top of this discussion, the least restrictive (that is, the most permissive) license choice given was CC-BY. It - and indeed, all three licenses listed - require that attribution be preserved as a condition of reuse.

          Thanks - I wasn't aware of that point.

          For the purposes of disseminating and reusing scientific knowledge, it is far more constructive for papers to be gratis than libre.

          Very nice summary. I think I'll re-use that under CC-BY-NC-ND. ;)

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Worse than that, somebody might remix your paper, use it for some purpose, and then attribute it to you!

        Many scientific papers contain important statements that are backed by the reputations of the people and institutions whose names are on them. There isn't any reason to let anybody modify them, attribution or not. If you'd like to use one of my figures you can do use the time-tested solution - send me an e-mail and ask. If you want to remix my text and use it on your web site to sell your snake oil...

    • Most researchers like open-access, but they are more concerned about publishing in a widely-read journal with a long-standing reputation for rigorous peer-review, because that looks better on their CVs

      Fortunately, in the area of biomedical research, virtually all publication is effectively ope-access, because most biomedical researchers receive at least some support from NIH, and NIH requires that all publications supported by NIH funds be available to the public within a year of publication

    • by bunratty (545641)
      I'm a graduate student in computer science. Nearly every paper I want to see is available for free, generally hosted on one of the authors' sites. When I ask authors for slides because I want to present their paper, they generally make them available for free. It seems to me that researchers want their papers read, presented, and discussed, and if making the papers freely available will accomplish that goal, they'll do it.
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @08:51AM (#42819495)

    I can't speak from experience but a lot of academic institutions put clauses in their contracts defining how ownership of inventions and discoveries are split between institution and employee. I don't think that any of them would expressly prohibit an open licence, but I can imagine a lot of researchers or their legal departments would be wary of trying to test the issue when a simpler option exists.

    It seems to me that some good discussion of the potential legal issues from qualified people could help reassure authors and their employees.

    • This is usually the case with patents, but I've never heard of an academic institution claiming an ownership interest in employees' copyrights or having contract clauses about what sort of copyright license is allowable.

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        Yes, that's my impression too, although I wonder how many people subject to such clauses really know where the lines are.

      • by l3v1 (787564)
        "academic institution claiming an ownership interest in employees' copyrights"

        Copyright? No. Ownership? Yes, in many cases, including mine. What you publish, (c) stays with you or with the publisher in case of (c) transfer forms, but owenrship of the IP you produce falls to the institute. I don't think that's something out of the ordinary.

        Regarding the original post's remarks about picking licenses regarding publications and results, I'm not surprised that no changes in the text or results or no commerc
        • What sort of "ownership" are you talking about other than copyright and patents? If the copyright stays with the author [or publisher] (which you and I agree on), and the work is not patented, I don't see any other recognizable ownership of "intellectual property" on the work that can transfer to the institution. Since it's published it's obviously not trade secret, and I trademarks doesn't seem applicable.

          Can you explain what this mysterious non-copyright, non-patent, non-trademark, and non-trade-secret "I

    • by godrik (1287354)

      I am a researcher which publishes (some of) my results on arxiv. I always chose the open-access-only option which allow arxiv to basically do nothing else than show the pdf and change file format. I am not even sure it allows relayouting.

      I could put them under some various CC license. But I do not for the following reasons:
      -It is unclear to me whether I am actually allowed to do that.
      -I would need to convince my co-authors.
      -If some guy make an other version of the article by changing the result, it might lo

  • PLOS ONE [plosone.org] seems to get by requiring articles to be CC-BY so some researchers are clearly ok with that licence.

  • That makes sense (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @08:56AM (#42819541)

    In, say, Linux, you have the ability to modify the source and create a completely new ability by manipulating the functions presented to you. We call this programming.

    If you take an open research article and modify it, then republish it with attribution given to the original author, it turns what is (supposedly) reliable scientific information into a potential weapon against the author, with various elements citing it against the author in other publications.

    Imagine what the strict use of CC-BY-SA would be if used by a modern fundamentalist anti-science group against climate change researchers, for instance.

    • by quixote9 (999874)
      Exactly. Research is not programming. The most restrictive license has been the rule in scholarship for centuries, except it wasn't a "license." It was just the way you were supposed to do things. FOSS-type principles pop up everywhere, because when it comes to knowledge, they work.
  • by Nick Fel (1320709) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @08:58AM (#42819563)
    Why is this surprising? Open access, which most scientists support in principle, is not the same as open source. It's about making sure that research outputs (particularly those that are government-funded) are made available for everyone to read, not just those with an expensive subscription. Access to that knowledge support innovation. It doesn't mean being able to reuse the original material however you like.
    • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:14AM (#42819685) Journal

      There's also the fact that data isn't copyrightable. It's just facts. The important issue with open access research is that the data is available for others to analyze. A CC-ND license does not prevent that.

    • by ananyo (2519492)

      Many, many advocates of open access publication say that without liberal licenses, it's not open access at all. so there is an important argument over definition here. For instance, data mining is going to be the next 'big thing' - if you need separate deals with publishers in order for researchers to text mine, that's going to risk scuppering the field before it's really gotten off the ground. Many are under the impression these sorts of issues are left behind if you publish in open access journals - but t

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      I know, right?

      The fact that researchers are chosing an open access journal at all should be a good sign. The journal provides a range of licence options for a reason but the open access is always there.

      They should cry more.

  • CC-BY-ND (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IRWolfie- (1148617) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @08:58AM (#42819567)
    Where's the CC-BY-ND option? I would have thought most scientists would not want others to alter their work because it is not technical documentation or code, but an expression of their own thoughts.
    • by ColdCat (2586245)
      CC-BY-ND looks little counter productive in research because it means "unchanged and in whole" so for citations it's not usable.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Citing is covered by the fair use rationale and not revoke-able with a license.

      • Citations are fair use, aren't they?

        (otherwise how do people cite paywalled articles today?)

      • Just to point out a further problem with this sort of reasoning: standard non-open works are already ND and NC.
    • by arisvega (1414195)

      .. others to alter their work because it is not technical documentation or code, but an expression of their own thoughts.

      Depends: in supercomputing simulations, the code is crucial.

      On this note, I would embrace the NC-SA (non-commercial / share alike) options: I have been putting countless hours per week for years now on developing code under a measly academic salary, and I see no reason whatsoever to not charge a hefty price to any one that wants to use the code commercially.

      A good practice is a spin-off company from the university that exclusively licenses use of an invention to investors, where each partner (inventor, uni

      • I should clarify: I think the code should be GPL or some other free software license, but I don't see any issue with CC-BY-ND for your paper (where you are just expressing your thoughts).
    • Both CC-BY-ND and CC-BY-NC-SA have never been clearly defined for research, where it's the ideas, not the specific document used to convey those ideas that matter.

      So, for instance -- if I write a paper on using (MethodX) to solve (ProblemY1), and someone realizes that (MethodX) might also be able to solve (ProblemY2), are they allowed to do it, or using it in new ways a derivitive? What if they wrote a paper about their findings, is that a derivitive? How about if I realize that there's a larger (ProblemY

      • Both CC-BY-ND and CC-BY-NC-SA have never been clearly defined for research, where it's the ideas, not the specific document used to convey those ideas that matter.

        They are not supposed to, because they only deal with copyright. The rest is based on widely accepted academic traditions which are older than copyright and function quite well without licenses.

        So, for instance -- if I write a paper on using (MethodX) to solve (ProblemY1), and someone realizes that (MethodX) might also be able to solve (ProblemY2), are they allowed to do it, or using it in new ways a derivitive? What if they wrote a paper about their findings, is that a derivitive? How about if I realize that there's a larger (ProblemY), is that a derivitive? Or if I realized that I could improve on (MethodX), is that a derivitive? Or even if you just have another occurance of (ProblemY1), are you allowed to use this knowledge of (MethodX) to apply it to the problem, or is any application of the research considered a derivitive?

        It is derivative in a copyright sense if you modify the original FORMULATION and publish that. Then the license matters.

        In terms of science, this is what you do for each one of the listed cases:

        1) Cite the original paper and all other related work
        2) Explain the new/bigger/different problem and why it is important
        3) E

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The incentive structure for academic scientists is not encouraging all type of sharing. Primary data is usually hard and expensive to generate and may be the basis for future and ongoing projects as well (and future publications - i.e. career progress). By sharing data this value is potentially lost . At the moment there are very limited incentives to share data / create resources for academic scientists - this has to change, and then there would be more OA interests also for data sharing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:07AM (#42819643)

    CC-BY-NC-ND is enough for the basic open access idea. Researchers can be sure that their papers can be easily and cheaply accessed by everyone interested. This license covers only the paper as a whole and ensures its (textual) integrety. The readers can still use its ideas (potential patents are independent of the paper and its license) and cite it according to the normal fair use and scientific writing rules.

  • by nweaver (113078) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:08AM (#42819649) Homepage

    Open access is ensuring that everyone can read your papers. All the other CC ones are about derivative work rights, which is orthogonal to open access.

    In fact, its rather silly to even think of: Quoting papers is fair use, but modifying scientific papers? You don't want third parties modifying the papers: they can easily screw things up as the paper is only part of the process, there is also the data and analysis behind it.

    So of the choices given, CC-BY-NC-ND is the only one that should be in that list.

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      -BY disallows presenting modified text as the original work, so that's already handled. And -ND makes citations impossible (so you can at most use references), so using it shows misunderstanding of these licenses. -NC cannot be quoted in research done commercially.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:47AM (#42819983)

        And -ND makes citations impossible (so you can at most use references), so using it shows misunderstanding of these licenses.

        Nonsense.

        -ND lets you do exactly the same things that you could do with an old-style journal article, where you didn't have a license at all. This includes limited quotation, because that falls under fair use. You also have one additional option, which is to republish the article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes.

        That is the whole point of open-access.

        What -ND actually doesn't allow is extension or modification of the original work, so you couldn't produce "version 2" of my journal article, with my introduction and methods sections, but your data and conclusions, or something like that. But that is not considered good academic practice anyway, so nothing is lost here.

      • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:56AM (#42820073) Journal

        And -ND makes citations impossible

        That's a total misunderstanding. As is this:

        -NC cannot be quoted in research done commercially.

        The license can only grant extra rights not afforded by copyright, it cannot take away rights. Fair use built into copyright allows for quoting. No license can take away that right.

      • by tgibbs (83782)

        Not only is it not true that -ND makes citations impossible (this is covered by fair use), but I've never yet had a scientific journal refuse me permission to reprint material from a published paper, which is done routinely in scientific review papers.

        • by ColdCat (2586245)
          "fair use" is only an American copyright extension there is no international law/agreement for "fair use"
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        So what you're saying is that the journal offered scientists an array of truly crappy options and they preferred the least crappy?

    • So 32% of the authors chose wrongly? And your response is to take their other choices away, because they don't know what they are doing?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Thank you! Open-access has NOTHING to do with these three license forms. As I scientist (and fan of Arxiv) I was puzzled by the headline until I read the paragraph and realized this has nothing to do with open access. This almost makes no sense. The headline of this is completely wrong.

    • by hweimer (709734)

      So of the choices given, CC-BY-NC-ND is the only one that should be in that list.

      I strongly disagree. CC-BY and CC-BY-SA are extremely useful if someone wants to cover your work (e.g., figures) in a textbook or review article and needs to make some editorial changes. Extremely annoying for everyone if non-free licenses are being used and a lot of paperwork has to be done. Same goes for the case when people deem your work so important or interesting that they want to put it into Wikipedia. Great for the scientists, but a real PITA if the license of the paper is incompatible with the one

  • by water-vole (1183257) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @09:21AM (#42819733)
    As a scientist I want everyone to be able to read my work. But if I write an article I don't want to allow others to modify it. If they change it, put their name on it and publish it anywhere, then they are commiting plagiarism, which is one of the most serious crimes in the scientific world. If they change it and leave my name on it, then they are publishing something I did not approve in my name, which is probably even worse.
    • by radtea (464814)

      Likewise. For all the obfuscation and nonsense going on in this discussion, the most restrictive license is the one that appropriately addresses the open access issue.

      The ND clause is entirely appropriate in the cut-throat world of academia, where we want others to know about our work and use our results, but not to be able to "remix" our papers.

      This is also important in the replication of other's results. I once published a paper that was quite deliberately modeled on another work. The previous work had

  • Why must Share-Alike be tied to the No-Commercial and No-Derivatives clauses?

    CC-BY-SA seems like a fair compromise in a world in which some scientists don't share.

    Maybe ND doesn't actually prevent any scientists from building on top of one's research, but I think the idea of labeling your research as "ND" is pretty anti-social. If you don't want other people to use your stuff, then fine, don't show it to anyone. Why would anyone submit a paper to an "Open Access" journal, and then label their paper as "No D

    • by akozakie (633875)

      You're completely missing the idea of copyright as applied to a paper. The work that is copyrighted is the paper itself, not the research described within. You can build your research on the results of others absolutely normally - and that's what Newton meant. Read, do research based on it, write a new paper. Fair use makes it even possible to cite the parts you want to discuss, if necessary. I can't really think of anything more you could ask for, anything "more free".

      On the other hand, building your paper

      • by Qubit (100461)

        You're completely missing the idea of copyright as applied to a paper.

        Please do enlighten us!

        The work that is copyrighted is the paper itself, not the research described within. You can build your research on the results of others absolutely normally - and that's what Newton meant. Read, do research based on it, write a new paper.

        Sure, writing new papers is one possibliity. But it's not the only way to collaborate.

        Fair use makes it even possible to cite the parts you want to discuss, if necessary. I can't really think of anything more you could ask for, anything "more free".

        Fair use is a defense, not a right. It's not perfect, and it can be messy to defend in court (or so the lawyers tell me). Why wouldn't some scientists want to make their research and their ideas *even more* accessible to those who wish to remix them and/or use short/long excerpts?

        On the other hand, building your paper on someone else's paper by just modyfing the relevant parts is not in any way helpful for science - and that's the definition of derivative work here.

        What are the "relevant parts"? And are you certain that no useful science can come from borrowing data/charts/text from an

    • Maybe ND doesn't actually prevent any scientists from building on top of one's research, but I think the idea of labeling your research as "ND" is pretty anti-social. If you don't want other people to use your stuff, then fine, don't show it to anyone.

      You misunderstand.

      You WANT people to use your stuff. You WANT them to build on it. And then you want them to write their own TEXT and publish that.

      What you don't want is for somebody who does not build on your work to take your paper, jumble it around until it makes no sense and is completely wrong, and then claim that YOU wrote that mess.

      All science is derivative. CC-BY-ND is already a huge improvement over the old situation where the copyright is owned by the publisher and the contents behind a paywall.

      • by Qubit (100461)

        You misunderstand.

        You WANT people to use your stuff. You WANT them to build on it. And then you want them to write their own TEXT and publish that.

        Why shouldn't a peer of yours re-use some of your paper, if some of it (maybe some words...maybe some paragraphs) support their theses as well? With correct attribution, can't you share in his work/glory, just as derivative patents do?

        I can understand that if there's a specific assignment for a class or some specific degree program in which the purpose of the exercise is for people to compose their own work from scratch then re-using excerpts or pieces from other's works might be contrary to those specific

  • 95% + 68% = 163%

    Did I miss something?

  • There have been people arguing against the NC clause for CC licenses for some time now, and almost all of them are basically saying "We want to take the stuff that these people have given away under CC-NC, maybe repackage it, and sell it." In other words, "Why can't I profit from other people's hard work without even talking to them about my project and paying them if they demand it?"

    If you want to repackage or resell something that's CC-NC, you can contact the person who wrote it, and get the rights to do

  • And I assume that the choice was one of the 3 licenses offered about 99.73% of the time.

    "... authors chose either of the more restrictive licences 95% of the time — and the most restrictive, CC-BY-NC-ND, 68% of the time."

  • by prefec2 (875483) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:00AM (#42820645)

    As a scientist, I publish my work in form of a paper. Others can use the results mentioned in the paper (for free). This is normal scientific practice. However, I do not want that some other person takes my paper, modifies it and republishes it somewhere else. BTW that is considered plagiarism, which is immoral in the scientific community. When it is about data, you can use them as input, but not modify them and say it is the same or "new version" of my data. However, you could derive your own data from it, mention where you got it and what you modified and why. For my code, it is released under Apache or Eclipse license. And yes you can do wan ever you want. However, I would like, if you would contribute and publish you additions.

  • by aepervius (535155) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:15AM (#42820829)
    I published a few paper (Quantum physic), and i do care that people read them. But I would not want somebody to take them and CHANGE them potentially reflecting badly unto me because the guy changing it make a blunder. *shrug* not a surprise other feel the same.
  • Here's the plain English version of the "No Derivatives" clause of the CC-BY-NC-ND license:

    No Derivatives: You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

    Citations and quotes are covered under fair use, so that's still possible. The problem is that of the three parts of the ND clause, the "build upon" part is the only one that should apply to a scientific paper. Now this clause might be considered too restrictive for something like a photograph or work of fiction for some people, but the "may not alter or transform" parts should almost be automatic for evidence-based,

    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @03:01PM (#42823613)

      It's not necessary. The "can't build upon" for a scientific paper can really only be interpreted as you can't keep my paper as is, but add bits of your own to it.

      Building upon published work in the usual scientific way is not governed by copyright at all, so it cannot be restricted by a copyright license.

  • I NEED my work to be attributed to me, for prestige and ego, but most importantly because my paycheck and ability to put food in my children's plate depends on it.

    I certainly do not want somebody to change the paper I carefully crafted to be scientifically accurate, adding BS to it, making it a pile of crap, and then attribute this to ME. That would be detrimental to my career and reputation.

    If you want to write BS, make it in your own paper where you will be responsible for it, not in mine. Feel free to c

  • The summary and title confuse two very different things: open access, which means anyone anywhere can read your paper and learn from it, and open source, which means people can take your words, figures, etc. and reuse them in their own papers and other works, or add their own words into the middle of your paper. Most scientists I know strongly favor open access. That does not mean they want their papers treated as open source. They usually view each paper as a carefully crafted finished product. Other p

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