Friday, December 15, 2006

A week is a long time in anything

For various reasons I have been offline for the best part of a week, and it is amazing to see just how much has happened in that week. Blogs, RSS and email have made communication easier, but also faster and more bountiful. I wonder how people ever got anything done in the olden days (probably very easily as they didn't have these 'distractions'!).

Anyway, here's what grabbed my interest when I made it back online and ploughed through my emails:
AIP’s mission and policy is to achieve that widest dissemination of the research results and other information we publish.
• Since the arrival of the Web, AIP believes it has achieved wider and more affordable dissemination than ever before in history, with more subscribers, more readers and more libraries and other institutions and people using our journals than ever before. Some use them free or at very low cost under various open access models.
• AIP believes it has been extremely successful in using and investing in technology and new online platforms towards that end.
• AIP has instituted and experimented with many business models, including free and open access. AIP believes that publishers should be free to experiment with various business models in the market place of ideas and economics.
• AIP is fearful of and against government mandates that provides rules in favor of one business model over another.
• AIP is against funding agencies mandating free access to articles after they have undergone costly peer review or editing by publishers.
AIP is against the government posting or distributing free copies of articles that publishers have invested in producing.
• AIP believes that funding agencies have every right to report their results to the public, but that if they choose to use publisher-produced, peer-reviewed material to do that, then the publisher should receive appropriate compensation.
• AIP is also fearful about what government agencies might do with articles they receive under any deposit system.
In particular, AIP is fearful of mission creep with government agencies using the deposited material beyond the goal of public access, for example in enhanced publications that compete with the private sector.
See Peter Suber's comments here.

Of course none of this matters when the articles and journals are fully open access and licensed under Creative Commons, as those from PhysMath Central will be.


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