A Model Open Access Journal Publication Agreement

There’s a relatively new online journal focusing on open access and scholarly communication called The Idealis. The Idealis was introduced in April this year and as Lee Skallerup Bessette put it, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, it’s a “resource for librarians looking for high-quality, open-access library and information science research.”

Each week their team of experts, led by founding editors Stacy Konkiel and Nicky Agate, work to “liberate research” by recruiting the “very best scholarly communication literature from across the Web, working with authors to make their research available, ensuring that librarians are connected to excellent research that’s relevant to their work.” I would argue though that this is an excellent resource for anyone interested in open access and scholarly communication.

For example, and perhaps of particular interest to Slaw readers, is last week’s post surfacing Stuart Shieber’s “Model Open Access Publication Agreement.” Shieber, who teaches computer science at Harvard University and is the faculty director of the university’s Office for Scholarly Communications, originally introduced this model agreement in February of 2014 on his blog The Occasional Pamphlet.

The Idealis provided the following useful abstract summarizing the value of this post:

“This blog post from 2014 provides language that can serve as a model for publication agreements between an open access journal and authors submitting their work to it. Rather than the traditional approach requiring the author to grant all rights in the work to the journal, this language has the author granting only what the journal needs to publish, and keeping all other rights for the creator of the work. The post explains what each paragraph in the agreement aims to do, and how it will protect the interests of both the author and the publisher while making the work open access. The comment section below the post also has useful discussion that further explains the reasoning behind some of the clauses.”

As we inch (centimeter?) closer and closer to an open access research environment it’s important for authors to be aware of their creative rights and to be able to effectively communicate these rights to the publisher’s they work with. This agreement provides a good starting point.

If you are interested in a weekly installment from The Idealis pointing you to research on scholarly communication you can receive updates via email, Twitter or RSS feed. Take a look and sign up.

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