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[BOAI] Re: Copyright, Embargo, and the Ingelfinger Rule
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad AT ecs.soton.ac.uk>
On Sat, 14 Jun 2003, Daniel Wolf wrote: > I agree entirely with the self-archiving idea; unfortunately, it appears > that some (if not many or most) commercially-published journals will ↵ refuse > to even consider an article if it is already available in _any_ form. It ↵ is > for that reason that I believe it necessary to use the leverage of the > reviewing community to insist that journals should either change such > best regards, You are referring to the Ingelfinger Rule. No need to be concerned about it. In fact, few journals ever had the Rule, and of those that did, most are dropping it. Nature has already dropped it; so has the American Psychological Association; Science soon will; the American Physical Society never had it. I suspect that the American Chemical Society will be among the die-hards, but the last journal to shut the door behind it will be the New England Journal of Medicine, whose former Editor, Franz Ingelfinger, was the one who formulated the Rule: Harnad, S. (2000) Ingelfinger Over-Ruled: The Role of the Web in the Future of Refereed Medical Journal Publishing. Lancet Perspectives 256 (December Supplement): s16. http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/documents/disk0/00/00/17/03/ Harnad, S. (2000) E-Knowledge: Freeing the Refereed Journal Corpus Online. Computer Law & Security Report 16(2) 78-87. [Rebuttal to Bloom Editorial in Science and Relman Editorial in New England Journal of Medicine] http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/documents/disk0/00/00/17/01/ It's important to understand two things about the Ingelfinger Rule. (1) The Ingelfinger Rule is neither a copyright nor a legal matter; it is merely a journal submission policy: "We will not referee or publish any text that has been previously been made publicly available in any form." (2) Not only is the Ingelfinger Rule not a legal matter, but it is also not enforceable, nor can it even be given a coherent interpretation, as it is poised on a slippery slope: Does circulating paper preprints count as making publicly available? (How many?) Does presenting it at a scientific conference? How about earlier drafts? How different do they have to be to *not* be a violation of the Ingelfinger Rule? As most journals don't even purport to have the Ingelfinger Rule, and those that do cannot enforce it, the best policy on the part of authors is to ignore it, as all self-archivers have been doing for over a decade. Self-archiving needs to be accelerated substantially, but it is certain that it is *not* the Ingelfinger Rule that is holding self-archiving back! It is author unawareness of the strong and direct causal connection between access and impact: http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving.htm Hence what is needed is not authors and referees crusading against the Ingelfinger Rule, but *for* immediate, universal, self-archiving! Stevan Harnad
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