Friday, April 27

Wiley vs the blogs - an afterthought

Wiley's position on the use of selected figures from their journals by bloggers may need another think through. The key thing is that they are saying if you ask permission then they'll probably say yes. But on what timescale? Shelley Batts has noted that it took two days for Wiley to respond - which coincidentally was the same length of time it took from it being a set of science bloggers being rather miffed to the braying mob hearing someone complain about copyright and start reaching for their pitchforks and burning torches.

Blogs don't work on a long-time scale. A month may be fine in scientific journal publication, but blog posts are often meant to be a bit more immediate. So how soon will they respond? A week? A month? From the original article, I suspect Ms Batts wanted to respond to the media's misunderstanding of the article, and that means it is best done while the article is relatively recent. Two days won't buy it.

Here's my suggestion - Wiley get a lot of articles from people funded by the UK Research Councils, who generally require maximising the dissemination of their information. It is not, therefore, a good thing to do to limit this. So I would humbly suggest that Wiley have a copperplate policy which goes that you can reproduce some (one or two, say) of the figures, and one or two sentences of the conclusions, say, as long as you cite the article (and preferably provide a link to the abstract) without having to ask for permission.

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