[Cc-it] open content license for research papers

bernardo parrella berny a cybermesa.com
Mar 10 Maggio 2005 12:06:51 EDT


A Proposal for an Open Content Licence for Research Paper (Pr)ePrints


Many academic papers that are to be submitted to refereed conferences 
and journals have been previously exposed to the author's colleagues. 
The term 'preprints' has long been used to describe such documents. 
'Departmental Working Paper' series were for many years a 
conventional vehicle for their publication. In the modern world, 
preprints are frequently transmitted electronically, variously as 
email attachments and as files available for download over FTP or 

When a preprint is made available electronically, it is likely that 
the author provides the recipient not only with a copy, but also with 
a copyright licence. In most cases, however, the licence is only 
implicit, and the terms of the licence are unclear. This creates the 
potential for considerable uncertainties, and those uncertainties are 
of serious concern in the context of tension between for-profit 
publishers of refereed articles and the research communities that 
referee and edit them for-gratis, and depend on them for early access 
to information.

This paper briefly reviews the open content and ePrints movements, 
considers the interests of the various stakeholders, proposes a set 
of licence terms intended to satisfy the needs of all parties, and 
concludes that a particular Creative Commons licence-type should be 
applied to all electronic preprints.

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