On Keeping Pledges

abernard102@gmail.com 2012-04-18


“A few months back, I posted a series of pledges about being a good scholarly citizen. Among other things, I pledged to keep my data and code open whenever possible, and to fight to retain the right to distribute materials pending and following their publication. I also signed the Open Access Pledge. Since then, a petition boycotting Elsevier cropped up with very similar goals, and as of this writing has nearly 7,000 signatures. As a young scholar with as-yet no single authored publications... I had to think very carefully in making these pledges... With that in mind, I actually was careful never to pledge explicitly that I would not publish in closed access venues; rather, I pledged to ‘Freely distribute all published material for which I have the right, and to fight to retain those rights in situations where that is not the case.’ The pressure of the eventual job market prevented me from saying anything stronger. Today, my resolve was tested. A recent CFP solicited papers about “Shaping the Republic of Letters: Communication, Correspondence and Networks in Early Modern Europe.” This is, essentially, the exact topic that I’ve been studying and analyzing for the past several years... I e-mailed the editor asking about access rights, and he sent a very kind reply, saying that, unfortunately, any article in the journal must be unpublished (even on the internet), and cannot be republished for two years following its publication... I was faced with a dilemma... In the end, it was actually the object of my study itself – the Republic of Letters – that convinced me to make a stand and not submit my article. The Republic, a self-titled community of 17th century scholars communicating widely by post, was embodied by the ideal of universal citizenship and the free flow of knowledge... I need to do my part in bringing about this ideal by taking a stand on the issues of open access and dissemination. The below was my e-mail to the editor... I herewith post a draft of my article analyzing the Republic of Letters, currently titled The Networked Structure of Scientific Growth...”




08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » abernard102@gmail.com


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Date tagged:

04/18/2012, 19:40

Date published:

02/21/2012, 19:23