Copyright and Licensing – Part 4

This is the fourth post in a series, by our Editor-in-Chief Tom Olijhoek, which focusses on the details of copyright and licensing, how they are applied to works and which options and best practices DOAJ recommends. You can read all 4 installments in this series here. We also have a help page dedicated to Copyright and Licensing.

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In open access publishing, copyright and licensing issues are often not well understood by many and are not clearly described on journal websites. Some publishers we speak to think that they have to pay a fee to establish Creative Commons licensing on their site. Just as DOAJ is a free service, Creative Commons licenses from CreativeCommons.org are also free.

At DOAJ we require open access publishers to use licenses for publications, and we recommend Creative Commons licenses as the best practice because these are free licenses tailor-made to meet the needs of open access. Publishers are also allowed to describe their own licenses as long as these comply and match Creative Commons licensing terms.

We recommend that publishers leave the copyright with the authors. Although this is not a requirement for inclusion in DOAJ nor for using Creative commons licenses, we think that authors should retain their rights, including their copyright for their work. Copyright is part of the larger framework of intellectual property rights that encompasses publishing rights, reproduction in the form of video or audio, patents trademark, research data and more.

All Rights Reserved

A number of publishers use the term ALL RIGHTS RESERVED incorrectly in the context of open access publishing and often in direct opposition to the “open access” state of the content. The us of this term is always wrong in the setting of open access because some rights will always be shared depending on the open access license used.

Copyright Retained by the Author

If authors retain the copyright of their work and publish open access then they can claim copyright and full intellectual property rights with some rights reserved. Under these conditions publishers can then claim rights of first publication and this does not conflict with the copyright remaining with the authors.

For instance, when you publish using CC-BY-NC and retain your copyright, you also reserve the commercial rights exclusively for yourself, unless you sign an agreement with a publisher that transfers commercial rights (some rights reserved).

Copyright Retained by the Author but Author rights restrained

Sometimes publishers seem to think that open access licensing conditions apply only to readers and not to authors. This is wrong. Consider the following case:

 

The copyright is retained by the author but [publisher]
‘allows authors the use of the final published version of an article (publisher pdf) for self-archiving (author’s personal website) and/or archiving in an institutional repository (on a non-profit server) after an embargo period of 12 months after publication.The published source must be acknowledged and a link to the journal home page or article’s DOI must be set. The author MAY NOT self-archive the articles in public and/or commercial subject based repositories.’
According to the website of the publisher, for works published under a CC BY-NC-ND license:‘users can read, copy and distribute the work in any medium or format for non-commercial purposes, provided the authors and the journal/book are appropriately credited. Under this license, users are not allowed to remix, transform or build upon the published material.’

The policy on author archiving from this publisher is clearly in conflict both with the licensing conditions and with the copyright policy. Even without the embargo clause this policy is wrong, especially since authors who retain the copyright are not bound by the conditions of the license at all: they can do whatever they want with their work (unless they have transferred their commercial rights to the publisher which is not the case here.)

Copyright Transferred to the Publisher

If on the other hand the copyright is transferred to the publisher, the publisher can claim copyright but never ALL RIGHTS RESERVED since all the other (intellectual property) rights remain with the author.

Sometimes the publishers will put a copyright clause in the website, with the intention that this means they claim copyright for the layout and design of the site. This is OK as long as the copyright clause explains this. If site simply states ‘Copyright Society of Physical Sciences’, or something similar, this is not acceptable as it is unclear what the copyright statement applies to.

Copyright Transfer Agreement in conflict with Open Access

In some cases publisher use a copyright transfer agreement that conflicts with open access licensing.

For instance let us regard this case where a CC BY-NC license is used on a site:

‘‘ [you] hereby transfer your copyright to us (the publisher). In particular, this means that you grant us the exclusive right, for the full term of copyright and any renewals/extensions thereof, both to reproduce and distribute your article (including the abstract) ourselves throughout the world in printed, electronic or any other medium”

There is clearly a conflict here since all users under a Creative Commons License have the right to reproduce, distribute etc, so the right of the publishers cannot be exclusive or all rights reserved. The transfer agreement should be corrected by replacing ‘exclusive right’ with ‘non-exclusive right.

Commercial Rights Transferred to the Publisher

If only commercial rights are transferred to the publisher, the author retains (part of) the copyright in addition to  all other intellectual property rights. In this case the publisher cannot claim copyright or ‘all rights reserved.’

Example:

‘Authors sign an exclusive license agreement, where authors have copyright but license exclusive rights in their article to the publisher**.

**This includes the right for the publisher to make and authorize commercial use,…

In this particular case, the journal also had a copyright statement that stated that all rights were reserved in the publisher’s favour.

This post is by no means complete The different examples shown are just a number of often encountered cases where copyright and licensing conditions do not match. Other cases with less obvious inconsistencies undoubtedly exist. We invite the reader of this blog post to alert us to such cases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE: DOAJ’s site performance issues have now been solved

We are happy to inform that our site is now back to normal and our services have resumed. We are still working on a long-term stability strategy and we will be able to update you on that and also provide a more detailed explanation of our issues soon. Thank you again for your patience over the last few weeks.

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We deeply regret the current problems with the DOAJ site.  After much investigation and active measures, we can state that the DOAJ is effectively under attack from an unknown third party.

We have deployed a number of counter-measures to halt this attack, but with limited success, and are therefore forced to take even more extreme measures to attempt to mitigate this.  We hope that this will work but we cannot predict the outcome at this stage.

The DOAJ team would like to apologise for the intermittent service and to let you know we are doing our best to go back to normal operations.

News: OASPA to require DOAJ listing for single-journal publishers

OASPA_Logo.jpgDOAJ and OASPA have worked together for many years now, with our Founder and Managing Director, Lars Bjørnshauge, serving as an OASPA board member for the past 5 years.

Publisher applications to OASPA have been rapidly increasing, in particular from those publishing just one journal. Given the many similarities in the indexing criteria between DOAJ and OASPA, we have agreed that all single-journal publishers that apply to OASPA will now be referred to DOAJ if the journal is not already listed in the DOAJ database.

Both organisations feel that this change is in the best interests of single-journal applicants because indexing by DOAJ is the most effective way for these journals to increase their visibility, and this is often their stated reason for applying to join OASPA.

Once a journal is indexed by DOAJ, applicants that still wish to join OASPA should get back in touch with them. However, publishers should note that OASPA have some specific requirements that differ from ours, particularly with respect to
licensing. Approval by DOAJ will not automatically mean acceptance by OASPA.

Following the implementation of this new policy and other membership criteria introduced last year, OASPA will be working with any of their existing members who don’t now meet their criteria to encourage improvements and apply to have their journals listed in DOAJ.

For more information, please see the announcement by OASPA.

 

 

Silver Sponsor Federation of Finnish Learned Societies answers our questions on Open Access publishing and DOAJ.

Janne Pölönen, Head Of Planning at the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies answers our questions.

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– Your organisation has been supporting DOAJ for some years now. Why is it important for the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies to support DOAJ?

Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV) produces a Publication Forum rating of academic/scholarly journals and book publishers that supports the performance-based research funding system (PRFS) for allocating part of block funding annually to universities. Similar model, in which the research community – rather than the Journal Impact Factor – is entrusted the rating of outlets, is used for example in Norway and Denmark. The Nordic countries collaborate with support from Nordforsk to create The Nordic list, a common Nordic registry of publication channels. In 2017, TSV and other partners of the Nordic collaboration group agreed to support DOAJ as a trusted international source of whitelisted Open Access journals. In each country, information from DOAJ is supplied to experts to help them identify reliable peer-reviewed outlets.

– What is the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies doing to support that development? Do you have any exciting projects underway?

Especially in the social sciences and humanities (SSH), large share of research is published in national languages and in books. Therefore, important part of the success of OA depends on national solutions and developments. In Finland, learned societies are major publishers of academic/scholarly journals and books. TSV plays a key role in facilitating the transition of the societies’ publishing activities to OA. This includes operating the Open Journal System (OJS) service for the learned societies and launching, in 2017, the Journal.fi portal to OA journals in Finland. An open access plan is required from learned societies to be eligible for the state subsidies that TSV allocates to journals and books series, and a consortium-based funding-model for those transitioning to OA is being sought in collaboration with the National Library. TSV also provides the Finnish scholarly publishers a Label for peer-reviewed publications to promote high standards and transparency of peer-review practices. The Publication Forum list of journals and book publishers helps to disseminate information about open access status and self-archiving policies based on DOAJ and Sherpa/Romeo. Open Access publishing is part of the Open Science agenda, of which TSV is set to become the national coordination body in Finland.

– Much has been said recently about whether open access is succeeding or failing, particularly in terms of the original vision laid out by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. Do you think that open access has fallen short of this vision, or has it surpassed expectations? What are your personal views on the future of Open Access publishing?

The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) has admirably set out the ideal that we should have both free access and unrestricted use of research publications. The transition to OA requires the continued will and effort, both at international and national level, of policy-makers, leaders, administrators, librarians, and researchers advocating OA. This movement is making it increasingly difficult for publishers not to facilitate open access with reasonable cost and embargo. The transition is perhaps not happening as fast as we hope because there are many stakeholders, interests, and traditions involved in academic/scholarly publishing. For the same reason, open availability of research publications continues to take place in many forms, some of which fall short of the BOAI ideals. We will be getting free access without unrestricted use and free access delayed with embargoes – these are needed to help the transition. The environment for the development of OA has become more and more complex, for example with the emergence of academic social networks that have increased the ambiguity among the research community over what is OA and what is not. Nevertheless, as many studies show, there has been a global growth in the share of research publications that are openly available to everyone on the internet and it is fair to expect this growth to continue.

– What do you think that the scholarly community could do to better support the continued development of the Open Access movement in the near future?

Most attention has been paid to journal publishing but also open access to peer-reviewed monographs and book chapters need to be facilitated. Researchers can increase their awareness of reliable OA publishing options and make the effort to archive their publications to an OA repository whenever the journal or book publisher permits self-archiving. Institutions should facilitate archiving and identification of OA policies. More studies are needed to show and communicate the added value of open access to research and society. Researchers can also be encouraged to choose channels that either are open access or allow self-archiving with reasonable embargo, and scholarly publishers of journals and books can be encouraged to increasingly develop and offer viable OA options. This will require the development of institutional, national and international OA policies, evaluation practices and infrastuctures. European Commission has already set a strong agenda including rewards and Incentives, indicators and next-generation metrics, future of scholarly communication, European Open Science Cloud, FAIR Data, research integrity, skills and education and citizen science. The next challenge is for all the relevant stakeholders in EU countries to work out how this agenda is best adapted to national and local contexts and cultures to advance open access and open science.

 

 

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The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and the Council of New Zealand University Librarians sign up as sustainable funders promoted by SCOSS

CAUL
NZunis
DOAJ is very pleased for the support received from CAUL and the Council of New Zealand University Librarians (CONZUL) towards a sustainable funding model promoted by SCOSS. These two new additions enlarge the list of institutions who have committed funds to support DOAJ and Open Access.
The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) is pleased to be a founding member of the Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS). At least thirteen CAUL member university libraries and one Council of New Zealand University Librarians (CONZUL) member library have pledged  €42,000 to date in support of the SCOSS crowd-funding program to improve the ongoing sustainability of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This demonstrates the perception of value provided by DOAJ to Australian and New Zealand universities. I would like to encourage university librarians from around the world to consider contributing to the SCOSS appeal for DOAJ.
Martin BorchertUniversity Librarian, UNSW Sydney and Chair of the SCOSS Board

 

About CAUL

CAUL is the peak leadership organisation for university libraries in Australia.  Members are the lead library executive of the institutions that have representation on Universities Australia.

About CONZUL

The Council of New Zealand University Librarians (CONZUL) is a Committee of Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara. CONZUL’s objective is to act collectively to improve the access for students and staff of New Zealand universities, to the information resources required to advance teaching, learning and research. The objectives are embodied in CONZUL’s statement on Open Access.

About SCOSS
The formation of the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services(SCOSS) represents a community-led effort to help maintain, and ultimately secure, vital infrastructure. This recognition of the cruciality of such infrastructure, and of securing it, is what led to the formation of SCOSS. Groundwork for the coalition was laid by the Knowledge Exchange, which presented many of the foundational ideas for it in its 2016 report Putting Down Roots, Securing the Future of Open Access Policies.

Copyright and Licensing – Part 3

In 2016, we published 2 blog posts on copyright and licensing: Part1 and Part 2In these posts we explained and illustrated that copyright and licensing are two different things linked by the fact that licenses can only be granted by copyright holders. Here is Part 3, a guest post by our Editor-in-Chief, Tom Olijhoek.

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In this post I want to discuss the practice by some open access publishers of not using Creative Commons licenses but using their own constructions for publisher specific licenses. A reason for this may be, for example, that the government of the country of the publisher does not recognise the (American company derived) Creative Commons licensing.

DOAJ accepts journals that do not use CC licensing ONLY if the specifics of the publisher licenses match the conditions of Creative Commons licenses. That is to say that licenses need to be compliant with the BOAI conditions of Open Access and need to allow for immediate access to all materials, with implicit permission to download , share, distribute and use the material for lawful purposes.

To better explain what DOAJ will and will not accept, I want to highlight some real life examples.

Example 1:  Copyright transfer agreement in conflict with open access

Let’s have a look at a case where the publishers use a copyright transfer agreement conflicting with the conditions of the Creative Commons License applied to the same work.

Publisher [x] has a copyright transfer agreement (CTA) saying:

The Author(s) agree that all copies of the Work made under any of the above rights shall prominently include the following copyright notice: “© XXXX [year] X. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modifications of the content of this paper are prohibited.”

This is in clear conflict with the conditions of BOAI Open Access and also with the use of the CC BY-NC license used by the very same journal.

After discussions with the publisher, two passages in the CTA now read:

[x] shall make the final, published version of the article freely available on the [x] Publishing platform without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of the article, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the Author(s). This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access
Copyright Notice The Author(s) agree that all copies of the Work made under any of the above rights shall prominently include the following copyright notice© XXXX [year] [x] Users may use, reuse, and build upon the article, or use the article for text or data mining, so long as such uses are for non-commercial purposes and appropriate attribution is maintained. All other rights are reserved.

I also want elaborate on the point that publishers often demand a copyright transfer agreement with a range of arguments like:

[x] needs copyright for an article because, as publisher, [x] is in the best position to defend the article legally. In addition, transfer of copyright assures [x] that the work in question is entirely the author’s own. Once again, the purpose of transfer of copyright is not to prevent the author from reuse of his or her own work, as long as this doesn’t involve republication in a competing journal or other competing resource.

DOAJ holds the policy that leaving the copyright with the author is best practice. The publisher will only need publishing rights. For this reason journals of publishers who leave the copyright with the author are eligible for the DOAJ Seal.

Example 2: Copyright statement in conflict with open access:

© Copyrights of all the papers published in Journal of XXX are with its publisher, [x] [Country]. Users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles in the journal, and that users can use and reuse material in the journal as long as attribution is given when appropriate or necessary. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Example 3: License in conflict with open access:

You may read, download, print, copy, search, link to the full text, or use them for any lawful purpose not otherwise prohibited here. You may not modify, create derivative works from, participate in the transfer or sale of, post on the World Wide Web, or in any way exploit the Site or any portion thereof for any public or commercial use without the express written permission of [x]

Example 4: License  in conflict with open access:

Reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, requires credit to the article author as copyright holder. Permission does not need to be obtained for downloading, printing, or linking to [Repository] content. Individuals have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles in the Journal XXX and to use them for any other lawful purpose…

/// same document:
Libraries interested in printing a paper from Journal of XXX for their permanent collection should contact the journal editors responsible for posting the paper. The requesting library can then gain copyright clearance from the paper’s author(s). People seeking an exception, or who have questions about use, should contact the editors.

It may be evident from the statements above that the use of non-Creative Commons licenses and the use of copyright transfer agreements make the evaluation of open access  journals on acceptable copyright and licensing conditions difficult and time consuming. At the same time the different conditions created by publishers in these cases make it very confusing for authors and users to know their rights.  I realise that the issue of copyright and licensing ranks among one of the most difficult issues of open access publishing. Therefore I strongly recommend that publishers make use of the excellent Creative Commons licensing schemes and also leave copyright for published works with the authors. Again, these conditions are the key requirements for obtaining the DOAJ Seal of Excellence in open access publishing.

I sincerely hope that the number of DOAJ Seal journals in DOAJ will continue to rise!

Tom Olijhoek
Editor-in-Chief

(Copyright and licensing information specific to completing an application is also available.)

NEW DOAJ PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS

DOAJ is often asked for materials to help librarians and open access advocates to spread the word about open access and DOAJ.

We would like to announce that you can now access, share, and use our new promotional materials.

We have produced two flyers and a poster for you to use as you need:

Flyer 1 -This A5 flyer provides general information about DOAJ:

  • Why DOAJ matters
  • Ways DOAJ makes an impact
  • Why journals want to be in DOAJ
  • Our latest figures: how many journals, countries and API hits

Flyer 2 -This A5 flyer gives a summary of our Ambassador programme:

  • What is the DOAJ Ambassador’s programme?
  • What are the regions covered?
  • Highlights and outcomes of the programme

Poster – The A2 poster is a mixture of general info and the Ambassador programme.

Please promote Open Access and DOAJ! Thank you.