Thursday, February 02, 2006

Retaining rights to your own work

From jill/txt, the title above links to an addendum you can attach to the copyright agreement for a conference or journal paper. Use it to retain your rights to place it on the internet or otherwise distribute your article for non-commercial use, and to request an electronic copy of the final paper. I would guess that most of us in academia neglect to follow the letter of copyright agreements in any case, freely distributing electronic copies of preprint versions to whomever requests and placing them on our academic web sites. Everyone winks at this. Is it better to keep doing it the current way or come out of the closet and use an addendum like this?


  1. I think it might be good if we started to take IP (intellectual property) issues more seriously, but it is not clear whether signing addendum like this is going to change much. You guys are trying to change a broken model.

    In the short term, I believe it is an established practice, at least in CS, to redistribute your work on your personal web site. I have never heard of a publisher trying to sue an individual researcher over something like this. I think they would rather avoid this.

    Ideally, in the future, people will realize that ***we don't need freaking paper proceedings***. Just take all the PDFs, put them on a web site. That's it.

    I broke my back when I came back from my last conference with this 1000 pages brick in my bags. Now, it sits on my shelves and I'll never open it again. What a waste! And I probably $200 for the stupid thing.

    No: publishing a paper on paper doesn't make it any more reputable. Online journals and online proceedings are ok. Yes, they cost less, but they don't cost let because they offer less value, they cost less because they are more efficient.

    Once people realize this much, than that's it. IP issues will settle themselves pretty easily.

  2. Oh, yes, I remember shipping giant proceedings volumes home from conferences. I think most, if not all, IEEE conferences now distribute the proceedings on CD-ROM, with just a printed schedule for use during the conference.