Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Academic Publishing Waiver Raises Concern; Chronicle of Higher Education via New York Times, 4/6/14

Megan O'Neil, Chronicle of Higher Education via New York Times; Academic Publishing Waiver Raises Concern:
"Faculty authors who contract to write for the publisher of Nature, Scientific American and many other journals could be signing away more than just the economic rights to their work, according to the director of the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communications at Duke University.
Kevin Smith, the Duke official, said he stumbled across a clause in the Nature Publishing Group’s license agreement last month stating that authors waive or agree not to assert “any and all moral rights they may now or in the future hold” related to their work. In the context of scholarly publishing, “moral rights” include the right of the author always to have his or her name associated with the work and the right to have the integrity of the work protected so that it is not changed in a way that could result in reputational harm.
“In many countries, you can’t waive them as an author,” Mr. Smith said. “But in the Nature publishing agreement you are required to waive them, and if you are in a country where a waiver is not allowed, you have to assert in the contract you won’t insist on those rights.”
Grace Baynes, a spokeswoman for the Nature Publishing Group, declined to say how long the language on moral rights had been included in its license agreement."

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