Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wiley Moves Towards Broader Open Access Licence


For Immediate Release

John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced revised licensing arrangements for proprietary journals published under the Wiley Open Access program. The journals will adopt the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence which allows commercial use of published articles.
The Wiley Open Access portfolio also includes journals published with society partners, many of which will similarly transfer to the Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Wiley is responding to recent developments in funder and government policies and supports the sustainable evolution of scientific publishing. The change will be implemented immediately.
Rachel Burley, Vice President and Director, Open Access, commented, “Wiley is committed to meeting the evolving needs of the authors who wish to provide open access to the published articles that convey the results of their research.”

Burley continued, “Our announcement today concerns Wiley’s fully open access journals. We are also reviewing the licensing arrangements for our hybrid program OnlineOpen, our open access option for individual articles published in subscription journals. In consultation with our publishing partners, we aim to continue to develop and deliver sustainable open access products providing author choice and high levels of service.”

In the first instance, the journals moving to the CC-BY licence are Brain and Behavior, Ecology and Evolution, MicrobiologyOpen, Cancer Medicine, Food Science & Nutrition, Evolutionary Applications, Geoscience Data Journal and EMBO Molecular Medicine. The CC-BY licence allows (with the correct attribution of the original creator) for the copying, distribution and transmission of the work. Adaption and commercial use is also permitted.

More information about Wiley’s open access initiatives is available online.

Sounds good right? The reponse that came from Peter Suber over the sparc-oaforum is worth a critical read:

Wiley publishes nearly 1500 journals: http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

1064 of them are Wiley-Blackwell journals according to SHERPA-Romeo: 
http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/pub/580/

And 246 of the John Wiley and Sons journals according to SHERPA-Romeo:
http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/pub/45/

Wiley Open Access publishes 12 pure-Gold OA journals (cost c. $2000 - $3000):
ttp://www.wileyopenaccess.com/details/content/12f25d2979e/Authors.html

In addition the Wiley OnlineOpen Hybrid Gold OA option (cost c. $3000) is available for some 1240 Wiley journals (80%), eight of them now offering CC-BY.
http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-40

The SHERPA-Romeo information (as well as the Wiley information) on Wiley's policy on un-embargoed Gratis Green OA self-archiving is now quite complicated and difficult to understand, so let me put a very simple, straight-forward question to John Wiley & Sons (Wiley-1) and to Wiley-Blackwell (Wiley-2) publishers:

Does Wiley-1/Wiley-2, like Springer, formally recognize its authors' right to make their final, refereed drafts OA immediately upon publication (no embargo) by self-archiving them in their institutional OA repository (Green OA)?

If the answer is yes, then the 1240 Wiley paid Gold OA options and the eight of them with CC-BY are a very welcome and positive step.

If, unlike Springer (which also offers paid Gold, both full and hybrid), Wiley-1/Wiley-2 embargoes Green OA, then Wiley's Gold OA options (including CC-BY) are a Trojan Horse, and a highly expensive one, blocking Green OA in order to force authors who want to provide immediate OA to pay for it, even though institutional subscriptions are paying publication costs in full.

In the latter case, CC-BY is an (easy) sop, providing something that only a few sub-fields need (CC-BY) at the cost of denying all fields what they urgently need (OA) unless they are able and willing to pay Wiley even more money for it.

A clear, unequivocal answer from Wiley-1/Wiley-2 could settle this at once.

And then we'll know whether Wiley's recent PR is indeed progress for OA, or another attempt to block it (until it comes on the publisher's financial terms).

 - Stevan Harnad

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