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Researchers Opt To Limit Uses of Open-access Publications

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the this-much-and-no-more dept.

Education 172

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 don't care about open access (1, Flamebait)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819475)

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.

blanket statement: evidence please (5, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 ;-)

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (4, Interesting)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819635)

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.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (3, Insightful)

elfprince13 (1521333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819755)

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

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (4, Interesting)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819901)

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.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820171)

Mostly because medicine is a fucked up field where you guys are more worried about making money on the next patent than actually saving people.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820435)

No the way of the future is free peer-reviewed journals made up of links to arXive papers and the like, free to access and free to publish.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820563)

That is the standard in computer science, with the addition that most authors are allowed to keep a pre-edited version on the web site. This enables the journals or events to increase their impact factors, because readily available papers are more likely to be referenced.

I have not published in medical journals.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (2)

cozziewozzie (344246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42821243)

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 simply ask for it by email. I do believe that open-access journals have played a role in making this acceptable.

Shallow cut (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819769)

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 number (1) is positively correlated with open access; more easily available equals more read equals more citations equals higher impact.

Re:Shallow cut (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819843)

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.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820103)

Item (1) is directly addressed by open access. If you want to maximize impact, you have to make sure that people can read your paper and think about it and talk about it.

So if that's the #1 reason, then open access is absolutely a factor.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820195)

Item (1) is directly addressed by open access.

Not really. Most researchers get access to the major journals either through the University they work with or through the company they work for so they'll have easy access to the works. College students also get access through their University to most of the major journals, That some basement lardass can see it doesn't mean jack or shit to most people when it comes to gauging impact.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (2)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820395)

Only if you go to a larger or more expensive college do you get access to major journals. And it doesn't permit folks that are out of college to gain access to them either if they see a particularly controversial claim being made.

I'm not sure why creating derivatives would be considered OK for these studies. The stuff you need to do with them are generally already covered under the rules for citation and plagiarism anyways. The big issue is gaining access in the first place.

If it's a study that's created with private funds closing it off is merely anti-social, but if they're using government funds, then it really ought to be free for anybody to look at and examine.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (0)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820797)

Only if you go to a larger or more expensive college do you get access to major journals.

Wrong. I've gone to small community colleges during summers when I was in college that had the access. If a University's library doesn't have such access as well then it's either being cheap or it's a shit school.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820105)

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 anyway whether or not the journal was open access.

Re:blanket statement: evidence please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820937)

Recently had a choice to make paper open access and pay several hundred (or was it '000s) or closed access for free.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819579)

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:Researchers don't care about open access (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819583)

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 the research, it should be accessible to the general public). The difficulty of a a completely open license, such as CC-BY, would allow commercial entities to profit from their work without means of recognition or attribution, as well as the potential to steal, or misrepresent, their intellectual ideas. As a result, I'm not surprised that researchers opt for "more restrictive" licensing, which is meant to ensure that they are properly cited. After all, our best metrics are our open publication record and citation factors.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819627)

CC-BY contains a "give credit to the original work" clause.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819937)

As a result, I'm not surprised that researchers opt for "more restrictive" licensing, which is meant to ensure that they are properly cited.

I know about a case where the license selection was done using the simple method:

1. Look at other papers in the same field
2. Determine which license they used most often
3. Select that license for the paper to be published

If that method is more common (and I can imagine it is), it amplifies not only true biases, but also random fluctuations.

Also note that there's no option of getting the ND clause without the NC clause, so it might be that not all who chose NC-ND cared about commercial use. Indeed, I'd not be surprised if the majority didn't.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (4, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819687)

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.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (5, Informative)

paiute (550198) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820373)

True, but prestige and open-access are not mutually exclusive. The open-access journals just need to get a reputation for rigorous vetting to gain the prestige, just like a normal journal. The only trouble is that open-access journals are new and haven't had time to gain the respect they need.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (4, Informative)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819807)

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.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (1)

codegen (103601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819967)

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.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (2)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820091)

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.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820387)

True, but most of the granting agencies I've applied to either have specific limits on how much of the budget can go to research dissemination (e.g., <10%), or if there aren't hard limits, they look dimly on proposals that have dissemination as a large component. They want most of the money spent on the research, not its dissemination. If your project is small (say, a few thousand dollars), it might not even be possible to fund publication of a paper in an open access journal unless you spend your entire dissemination budget on it, and even then it might not be enough. Most open access journals I've investigated expect $1000 to $2000 per paper. With a 10% limit, that means your proposal better be tens of thousands and you are not planning to go to any conferences or any other activities to communicate the research results.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42821175)

Ok, I can't speak for small projects but the multi-million euro projects I know budget 3.5 - 5% on dissemination which of course is mainly for person months but also pays for related fees and travel costs.

Re:Researchers don't care about open access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820043)

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

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. .

That's not ideal is it!?

Almost right..... (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Almost right..... (1, Troll)

dcollins (135727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820269)

"Science researchers live and die by their publications. Their papers are their currency."

And this explains why the majority of papers are corrupt, untrustworthy, and non-replicable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell%27s_law

Re:Almost right..... (4, Insightful)

psnyder (1326089) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Almost right..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820887)

There's a deeper issue, I think, which is that some in the open source / open licensing community don't understand that different licenses are appropriate for different purposes and different people.

What the community should be supporting is the greatest amount of openness that a creator feels comfortable with, and nothing more.

I use open-source and open-licensed products all the time, and try to license my own work under such licenses as frequently as possible. However, there are many situations where I don't agree with the more open option's model, or believe there would be extremely negative consequences (not just to me, but to the field as a whole), and choose a more restrictive option. The reasons scientists have for preferring a certain license, as you point out, are good ones, and aren't thoughtless or superficial. Science as a process involves careful, clear competitive discussion, and that discussion would be destroyed if the source of certain arguments or findings, or the nature of those findings, became completely unclear. It would be like a legal trial where each side is allowed to lie about who the plaintiffs, defendants, and witnesses are, and are allowed to tamper with the evidence. No one would agree to that, so I don't see why it should be any different in scientific discourse.

More open is not always better. How open a license to use should be a rational decision based on the factors present in a certain context. Otherwise it comes across as irrational zealotry, which will turn off more people from openness as a principle.

Re:Almost right..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820481)

Yes, that last license is what I call the "don't sue P2Pers" license.

Re:Almost right..... (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820625)

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 need for appropriate attribution of others' work and ideas is already very deeply rooted in the sciences. In writing a paper for publication, one very seldom needs or wants to directly copy more than a few words from another author's work. Such limited, clearly-attributed, de minimus copying is already considered permissible, desirable fair use even when drawn from entirely non-free works.

Further, copyright doesn't cover ideas, but only their specific form of expresssion, so paraphrasing of descriptive material in non-free works is generally non-infringing of copyright--but still requires proper attribution for the purposes of academic publishing. Similarly, copyright doesn't protect simple facts (the mass of the proton was measured as such-and-such) but again academic publishers will expect such claims to be properly attributed.

A professor giving a lecture, or a scientist giving a talk at a conference, may lift figures wholesale from other authors' non-free work, as long as appropriate attribution is given; this sort of 'remixing' into a derivative work is taken to be fair use in an educational setting. (About the only place this bumps up against copyright issues is where this sort of material gets bundled into courseware packs that are sold by a university or other publisher.)

The writer of a review article may occasionally seek permission from another author to reprint a figure, but generally such material is included by reference to the original work, rather than by direct copying. Partly this is for the prosaic and increasingly-less-relevant purpose of limiting the length of printed papers, and partly this is for the entirely noble and worthy purpose of encouraging a reader to review a figure in its full context.

In truth, the expectations of the academic and scientific publishing communities regarding proper attribution and avoiding plagiarism already impose more stringent (but still generally reasonable) restrictions on most reuse of published papers than any license. For the purposes of disseminating and reusing scientific knowledge, it is far more constructive for papers to be gratis than libre.

Re:Almost right..... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about a year and a half ago | (#42821187)

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. ;)

Most biomedical research required open access (1)

tgibbs (83782) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820075)

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

Contract restrictions? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Contract restrictions? (1)

FriendlyStatistician (2652203) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819543)

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.

Re:Contract restrictions? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819995)

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

Re:Contract restrictions? (1)

l3v1 (787564) | about a year and a half ago | (#42821057)

"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 commercial use clauses are picked, since let's be honest, it's one thing to openly publish your results, but it's a completely different one to allow anyone to commercially exploit your results that you've been working your a** off to produce. Give credit where it's due, and don't think of researchers as a source to freely exploit, that's just not fair. Some institutions and researchers can afford to patent great solutions and results before publications, so they can protect them, others can't but still, their results - while openly published - belong to them.

Re:Contract restrictions? (1)

godrik (1287354) | about a year and a half ago | (#42821245)

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 look really bad on me.
-If some guy "fix" a typo, he might not realized he changed the meaning. Some sentences and paragraphs in article are carefully crafted. Sometimes, editorial changes changes the meaning of things.
-If somebody add a stupid figure, he will add his name on my paper. screw that.

PLOS-ONE is CC-BY (1)

fantomas (94850) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819507)

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 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:That makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819737)

That's fraud and easy to correct. The original author would simply notify the journal administrator and the problem is no more. And I doubt journal administrators with slightest sense of integrity would publish any article without communicating with the original author.

Re:That makes sense (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819815)

Ya I must be missing something here. Is ripping someone's copyrighted work a problem in the academic world? As long as they quote it accurately when criticizing...

Re:That makes sense (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820027)

Actually yes, it is. There's a small but brazen minority of researchers who quite literally knock off other people's papers, often including some trivial modifications. You only hear of a few cases, of course, and I don't think that an open access licence is going to really make it any more or less of an issue.

http://chemjobber.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/my-contribution-to-pierre-yan-debacle.html [blogspot.co.uk]

Re:That makes sense (1)

awtbfb (586638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42821207)

It won't stop them, but it gives you the ability to get the plagiarized material pulled. Remember, plagiarism is antithetical to academia. Mashups are fine, as long as you give appropriate credit.

Re:That makes sense (1)

quixote9 (999874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819859)

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.

Conflating open access and open source (5, Informative)

Nick Fel (1320709) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Conflating open access and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819651)

Yes, you do not want others to be able to straight copy your work, this forces people to reword any knowledge they gained form your work, so if they misunderstood it becomes obvious. Also for the actual data, In most cases, if you tried to use copyright to prevent others from using your data in their own work it would go so far beyond acceptable that you would loose collaborators ad thus eventually your job, and any journal that tried this would lose so much of its value it would also become worthless, so for data reuse the licence is irrelevant or at least not important for now.

Re:Conflating open access and open source (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819685)

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.

Re:Conflating open access and open source (1)

ananyo (2519492) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819697)

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 they are not.

Re:Conflating open access and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819987)

Then many, many advocates of open access publication do not understand the meaning of the term "open access."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access [wikipedia.org]

Re:Conflating open access and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820065)

Since copyright only restricts the text, not the data (it would be especially troublesome in science it it were different because the data in the articles is meant to be reused), the only thing which still could hinder data mining are restrictive server policies (i.e. not allowing mass-downloads). However that's completely independent from the license under which the text is provided, as long as you can access the text for free.

Re:Conflating open access and open source (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819813)

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 (4, Insightful)

IRWolfie- (1148617) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:CC-BY-ND (1)

ColdCat (2586245) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819725)

CC-BY-ND looks little counter productive in research because it means "unchanged and in whole" so for citations it's not usable.

Re:CC-BY-ND (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819875)

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

Re:CC-BY-ND (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820183)

Quotes are generally covered under fair use, so for those the license is irrelevant.

Also note that in some sciences, e.g. physics, it's rare to have actual quotes, rather than just stating facts from the cited articles. Say author John Doe has developed a method to calculate the XY quantity for ABC systems, and Daniela Foo has proven that the XY quantity lety you identify property Z, then a typical citation in physics would read:

"We use the method of John Doe to calculate the XY quantity [1]. As D. Foo has proven [2], this quantity lets you reliable property Z [2]."

[1] John Doe, Journal of Extraordinary Physics 42, 4711 (2048)
[2] Daniela Foo, Insights in Physics 23, 666 (2036)"

No text copied, no copyright issues.

(Note that all author and journal names used here are purely fictional. Any similarity to real people or journals would be pure coincidence.)

Re:CC-BY-ND (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820699)

Citations are fair use, aren't they?

(otherwise how do people cite paywalled articles today?)

Re:CC-BY-ND (1)

arisvega (1414195) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820499)

.. 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, university, investor) has 1/3 of the profit, but only the inventor (or researcher) and the investors have boardroom seats.

What is 'ND' (and 'NC') in research? (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820901)

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), 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?

The other one that people suggest for papers is CC-BY-NC, thinking that it'd prevent someone from using the ideas in the paper from trying to create a business around the idea ... but does this also mean that you're not allowed to publish new research that builds in a CC-BY-NC paper in a for-profit journal? Or attempt to get grants to extend the work?

The CC licenses (other than CC0) just don't work for research articles. I'm not even sure if CC-BY really works. (it's one thing to cite a paper ... but does it chain? Do we have issues with publishers who limit number of items in a reference list?) How do you give attribution when it actually gets used? (Do you acknowledge the authors when you install a road using asphalt they developed, or during the grand opening, or every time someone drives on it?)

Yes, this all may seem pedantic, but the CC licenses were developed for a specific purpose, and it was *not* research. I was at a meeting a couple of years back (not sure if it was BRDI [nationalacademies.org] or DataCite [datacite.org] , as they were back-to-back), where John Wilbanks (at the time with Science Commons [sciencecommons.org] ) was recommending CC0 for research data, in part because of these problems.

(In the case of data, the discussion typically comes up as either 'Data Use' vs. 'Data Re-Use' or as 'Data Repurposing', or the greater concept of 'Data Policies')

Until we get these cleared up, CC-BY-ND and CC-BY-NC-SA should *NOT* be used for publishing research.

Incentive structures for scientists (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819575)

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.

Win-win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819591)

Access to other people's work in order to cite them, present research background, make comparisons, extract ideas - that's what many researchers want. They also want to get cited. In fields like maths and IT (the ones I'm more or less familiar with, as a PhD student just beginning to taste the research world...) open-access is a win-win for the researchers - those publishing and those acessing the papers. No commercial use without the consent of the autor? Why is this a bad thing? I a company wants to use the work, why can't it get a proper licence?

Re:Win-win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819613)

Because it's not clear what is and what is not commercial. Is reproducing part of a paper on a blog discussing it commercial when the blog is supported through ads?

Re:Win-win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819683)

If the paper is open-access, you can talk about it (criticize, discuss, etc.) and provide a link to the source. However, if you want to use the data itself (which sometimes takes lots of work/money to obtain) for your advantage (a derivative work) - ask the author. Why is this bad? The differentiation between a commercial and a non-commercial use if common and widespread in all kinds of licenses (movies, software, even equipment...). There always is a "grey ground" when not everything is clear, but these are the edge cases....

Re:Win-win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819701)

And to answer your question directly:
"Is reproducing part of a paper on a blog discussing it commercial when the blog is supported through ads?" - I think yes. But, as far as I know, there is this "fair-use" thing, at least in some countries, which can enable you to cite parts of the work without a proper license, IF you are a researcher, teacher, reporter or such.... Don't ask me for the details, because I'm not a lawyer...

Re:Win-win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819747)

The raw data is normally not included in the paper, only the conclusions drawn from it. If you want to reproduce the results or do your own analysis with the raw data you have to ask the authors for it anyway.

CC-BY-NC-ND is enough (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (5, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819649)

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.

Re:CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (0)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819767)

-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.

Re:CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (3, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820073)

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.

Re:CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (1)

tgibbs (83782) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820107)

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.

Re:CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (2)

ColdCat (2586245) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820331)

"fair use" is only an American copyright extension there is no international law/agreement for "fair use"

Re:CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42821077)

Similar concepts exist in most other jurisdictions.

Re:CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (1)

LaggedOnUser (1856626) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819779)

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:CC has NOTHING to do with open access... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819923)

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.

CC-BY-NC-ND makes perfect sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819707)

ND: You don't want someone to change your research paper! Why would an author say "go ahead and change my tables/equations to make everything wrong, then spread it around in my name". NC: Again, perfect sense. "Don't rent-seek on my work".

In context, the license is very liberal, since the alternative is a) copyright transferred to publisher, b) paper locked up behind paywall.

CC would be to allow plagiarism (5, Insightful)

water-vole (1183257) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:CC would be to allow plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820019)

Absolutely agree.

CC-BY-NC-ND and CC-BY-ND are really the only logical choices considering the abuse that could be done with less restrictive licenses. We are not talking about a novel or a movie or a piece of software here. Researchers' reputations ride on the quality of their work and to have someone be able to arbitrarily change a research paper and have the original author's name in any way associated with it is a huge risk. The Non-Derivative (ND) option prevents that.

The reason for choosing the Non-Commercial (NC) option would be because you don't want someone to be able to make money selling your paper to unsuspecting people who don't know it is available for free in an open access journal. Note that this says nothing about the ideas or methods in the paper being used for commercial purposes, just the distribution of the paper itself for profit.

Frankly, I am surprised that the percentage of researchers who chose the "most restrictive" license was not even higher. I suspect that the researchers do not fully understand the implications of their choice of license.

Re:CC would be to allow plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820899)

When someone puts a CC-BY licence on their work they are not making an open invitation for every man and his dog to misrepresent them. Do you truly believe that copyright law is the only thing stopping others from purposefully cropping up anything you write to misrepresent you?

Copyright is about forbidding people from sharing your work, creating a form of property in an attempt to promote research (science and "useful arts" whatever that means) taking place. I come to Slashdot expecting opinions along the lines of "it would be more ethical and more effective for a government to collect taxes and put these towards scientific research than to have copyright law", not to hear this cohort of academics that can't admit they have no idea what they are talking about.

Re:CC would be to allow plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820045)

CC-BY has an attribution clause and a don't misrepresent a derivative work as the original.

Re:CC would be to allow plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820413)

Firstly, the BY in CC-BY is an attribution clause, effectively blocking plagiarism.
Secondly, If plagiarism is one of the most serious crimes in the scientific world then the copyright involved is irrelevant.

Actually they charge for open access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819749)

Basically ... Open access option charges more than propriety cases, actually usual "scientists" who barely have funds to support other costs ... it's not the case for all, but it's frequent and actually it is based on personal experience ... you can't afford the difference.

Where's CC-BY-SA? (0)

Qubit (100461) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819863)

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 Derivatives." Newton saw as far as he could because he was standing on the shoulders of Derivatives...or giants. You know, derivative giants.

The arguments I've heard in favor of ND go something along the lines of "If people can create derivative works of mine, then they'll twist my work around and make me look like Hitler."

Sure. But imagine if I wrote a paper with the following paragraph:

Humans around the age of two will eat anything they can find on the ground. Dirt, rocks, garbage -- even bugs.

Someone can easily mis-paraphrase that sentence as "Humans..will eat anything... Dirt, rocks, garbage -- even bugs." So I really don't see a big draw for the ND clause. It just seems like a cop-out.

Re:Where's CC-BY-SA? (2)

akozakie (633875) | about a year and a half ago | (#42821131)

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 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. In fact, if you do something like this, you're a lousy, lazy scientist - if you can fit your results into an existing paper like that, you probably haven't done anything new and worth reading. ND-free licenses are extremely useful for code, potentially useful in art, but worthless in science. There's no value added here.

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 Derivatives."

Seriously? You consider only completely open or completely closed position as non-hypocritical? What you're saying is just pseudophilosophical mumbo-jumbo, based on a fundamentalist understanding of "information wants to be free". Is you believe that, peer reviewed papers should not exist - you should publish everything, whether or not competent peers think it's utter BS. Sorry, but this does not work for stuff as specialized as scientific papers.

Wait? What? (1)

Knightman (142928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819895)

95% + 68% = 163%

Did I miss something?

Re:Wait? What? (1)

Knightman (142928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819921)

Oh, must be tired... Ignore my post above...

Me get moar coffee now...

Huge cost to publish open-access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820057)

I don't know about other fields, but the research papers I submitted required $2500 - $4000 fee to publish open-access.
When you're a graduate student, on a limited income, it might as well not even be an option.

This is not a new argument (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820069)

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 your commercial project. That can be difficult if you're talking about, say, an image uploaded to a public digital art gallery, but it's not at all difficult when it's a journal article that says who wrote the article and what institutions they're affiliated with. That person may ask you to pay royalties or a flat fee, which is only fair, since you're trying to profit from their work.

And yes, this makes CC-NC a more restrictive license for commercial work than, say, the GPL (which explicitly allows selling copies if you want). Tough.

99.73% (1)

dcollins (135727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820215)

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."

All 3 Options Are Open Access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820277)

There's no debate here over open access. All three options are open access. Researches selected options about getting credit and commercial use.

The summary of the article is very misleading.

fallacious conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820323)

the conclusion tfs comes to would make sense if one of
the choices were in fact, "only allow access behind paywall".

more generally, there we do not have licence choices that
represent the full gamut of restrictions. this seems like an under-
handed redefinition of terms. and seems akin to the old "how to
lie with statistics" trick where the graph starts at 69.5 and ends at
70.0 and shows how "drastic" the differences are, when in fact the
spread is less than a percent.

Understandable (2)

prefec2 (875483) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

I car for open access. not open sharing. (2)

aepervius (535155) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Is ND legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42821029)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't derivative works an explicit provision of all copyright?

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