A thorn in the side for science publishers

abernard102@gmail.com 2012-08-20


“Acquiring and supplying all kinds of information, as well as indexing it and presenting it in a user-friendly manner, are the core tasks of any academic library. These activities provide important framework conditions for the process of gaining knowledge and understanding. An academic library’s functions also traditionally include delivering copies and/or scans of scientific articles. At the end of 2011, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) lodged a complaint against the document delivery service of the ETH-Bibliothek at the Commercial Court of Zurich. The actual complainants in this case are the publishers Elsevier, Springer and Thieme... STM is pushing for the ETH-Bibliothek to be prohibited from delivering scans from scientific publications to customers within Switzerland. Its main argument here is based on the statement provided by the publishers’ representatives to the effect that the science publishers would run their own document delivery services, which would be equally capable of ensuring the provision of information for research and development... Moreover, the publishers’ representatives allege that the delivery of electronic copies of articles is in breach of the relevant provisions of Swiss copyright law, thus making it illegal... However, ETH Zurich and the ETH-Bibliothek, as the organisation providing the service in question, take precisely the opposite stance: the “delivery of electronic copies of documents” service mentioned is covered by the corresponding article in the Swiss Copyright Act. Furthermore, the ETH-Bibliothek pays the appropriate fees for this to ProLitteris, the collecting agency responsible. The ETH-Bibliothek therefore considers that it is rendering a useful service within the copyright regulations that apply to Switzerland as a centre of research and under acceptable financial conditions... The response from the aforementioned publishers serves as an example of how the interests of science and research are being forced to give way to those of the publishers, since the argument put forward by them or their representatives clearly fails to take the following points into account: [1] More or less all scientifically relevant journals rely on the results of publicly funded research. [2] The brunt of evaluating scientific findings (i.e. peer reviewing) is borne by the scientific community, with the publishers playing only a supporting role. [3] By far the most important customers for all major science publishers are academic libraries, the vast majority of which are themselves supported by public funding...”




08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

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


oa.new oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.comment oa.elsevier oa.copyright oa.libraries oa.costs oa.litigation oa.switzerland oa.springer oa.thieme oa.eth oa.stem



Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 14:58

Date published:

02/20/2012, 16:04