I have blogged about how our Open Access paper was offered for sale by Ingenta, and how they had removed our copyright on the abstract and replaced it by their own. I am pleased to see we have a reply:
PMR: Thanks Louise.
I revisited the Ingenta site and found that the Nucleic Acids Research TOC now had little flags showing the articles were free. I can’t be sure that this is completely new, so I suspect so – i.e. Ingenta were charging for every paper in NAR until I pointed out the problem.
They haven’t removed their copyright notice from OUR abstract.
This blog tries to be reasonably fair and I am happy to accept that there are oversights. There are some significant points which need to be addressed:
- My general experience over the last 2-3 months is that the publishing industry does not take the rights of the Open Access author seriously enough. The author(s) or their funders have paid a LOT of money for the right to have their product exposed and re-used in a certain manner and if any part of the process is less than perfect the author can feel – as one correspondent put it – “pissed”. I don’t believe their is a campaign among most publishers to make Open Access unattractive to authors by failing to honour obligations, but I DO believe there is a systemic failure – Open Access is clearly not given priority by many of those who build
web sites. This leads to a way of thinking and practice where there is no pro-action. Everyone involved should treat Open Access content with the same concern as pornography, libel, third-party rights, etc.
- Yes, there should be standards. I know standards take time, but if the will was there it would be relatively easy. We have several models to go on. I don’t hear publishers debating their merits other than to discredit Open Access. The software industry has largely solved the problem – publisher should be capable of doing so. However the will isn’t there yet. I have likened publishers’ labels to food labels – “open access” ccan mean anything the publisher wants it to mean.
So, Ingenta, here is a serious and constructive suggestion. By oversight or otherwise a large number of people have paid you for material to which they had free access. You may, of course, intend to find out who some of them are and return it.
But there will be a lot left over. Why don’t you fund a public project as you suggested – say through JISC and or academia – to prepare the basis for industry standards in publishing. We might be able to give you some ideas…