Gualtiero Piccinini writes:
I always put my papers online. I used to publish online a penultimate version, under the assumption that since it’s not identical to the published version, it’s ok. Lately, taking a cue from the copyright form of Australasian Journal of Philosophy, I’ve started posting the last version sent to the publisher (before proof corrections)
While some authors cross off the relevant portions of agreements before signing, Piccinini signs the publishers’ copyright forms as they are. Clearly the practice of posting your articles online violates many of these agreements. Piccinini asks readers for their opinions as to whether this is the best practice, but unfortunately there aren’t yet any responses there, so I thought I’d repeat the question here, before our presumably larger audience. First, a poll:
Personally, I find it very useful if authors post their work online. Even if I obtained the journal article through a subscription or a library, often it’s handy to have the article in PDF form — either to search for a critical section, or to duplicate a figure or stimulus.
But if a scholar refuses to sign a copyright agreement, or alters it, do they risk losing a publication credit that may have an important impact on their career? And if everyone posted their articles online, then how would journals make the money they need to pay editorial and publication staff? On the other hand, much of the research we’re talking about was paid for by public funds. Shouldn’t it be freely available to the public?
It’s a tough question. Feel free to discuss it here, or head on over to the Brains blog and discuss it there.