New in-depth OA look at copyright and licensing practices among journal publishers
Today, SPARC Europe is releasing an anticipated new report: Open Access: An Analysis of Publisher Copyright and Licensing Policies in Europe, 2020. This analysis, which presents the results of a research study that was completed in the summer of 2020, explores copyright and licensing practices amongst prominent journal publishers and OA publishers in DOAJ in Europe.
The work is a first – and offers new and valuable insights around what has been one of the most challenging barriers to advancing open: copyright. The study investigates copyright retention policy among publishers, self-archiving policies and records publisher policies on open licensing, also as relates to the Plan S requirements on rights and licensing. In the report, the authors go several steps beyond simply reporting on what they found; to help guide efforts aimed at more immediate OA, they also provide policy development guidance aimed at funders, institutions, publishers and their authors.
Though the past decade has seen a great deal of movement around establishing and advancing OA policies — including the recent Plan S Rights Retention Strategy; this report provides an account of where actual copyright policies and practices stand today. It shows how, in spite of recent years’ policy shifts, publishers have yet to align.
“Publishers need to move with us,” said Vanessa Proudman, Director of SPARC Europe. “Our hope is that this work prompts new action to finally help us clear this copyright hurdle.”
Clear from this study: the majority of publishers have yet to embark on a more OA friendly policy journey, though some are making preparations. “If these publishers choose to continue on their current course, their authors will continue to find complying with OA policy requirements problematic — unless funders change their grant conditions and/or institutions/authors retain their rights,” wrote the authors.