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Traditional academic publishers support current open access repository principles, says report -

The SURFfoundation has released the results of an inquiry into the copyright policies of traditional academic publishers. A group of forty seven traditional publishers, who do not currently allow Open Access, were assessed and it was found that these publishers are increasingly interested in allowing the depositing of articles into a publicly accessible repository.

The study asked publishers if they supported principles formulated by SURFfoundation and JISC, regarding publishing in traditional journals. These principles attempt to clarify and balance the relationship between the rights of authors and publishers, to enable a wider access to scholarly literature. The conclusion was that a growing number of traditional publishers support some, if not all, of the current open access repository principles. Furthermore, many of these publishers were said to be looking into changing their current policies to encourage an environment of sharing academic materials.

One third of the publishers in the study have developed a repository policy which is compatible with these principles and, the study reports, a similar proportion of publishers currently use a licence to publish instead of copyright transfer. A number of organisations, such as the Wellcome Trust and the European Research Council, require peer-reviewed publications to be deposited in an appropriate research repository in conjunction with being made available via Open Access channels within 6 months of publication. In December 2007, the ERC Scientific Council issued guidelines for Open Access, which stated that free and efficient access to vast and increasing quantities of information was the key for sustained progress.

In addition to having drafted the principles, JISC and the SURFfoundation have also created a model Licence to Publish, in order to help traditional publishers of journals and authors move toward open access. However, the SURF-JISC Licence to Publish is not the only model that addresses these principles. The Licence to Publish was designed to serve as an example for traditional publishers who do not yet provide open access, while also functioning as a tool for authors who want to retain their copyright.

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