Monday, August 04, 2008

IJPE: Open Access - Gratis and Libre

In the August 2008 SPARC Open Access Newsletter, Peter Suber articulates a distinction between open access that is gratis and libre.

Gratis means free (as in price). Libre means free (as in free to use). This is an important distinction - we need both kinds of free, but in the transition period strides are often likely to be made in one kind of open access at a time. All moves forward are very welcome. The terms mirror those of the open source software community; while they are new, they have the advantage that most of us do not have prior conceptions of the terms.

With the funding agency mandates, which tend to focus, for good reason, more on gratis OA, much progress has been made.

Now, it is timely to begin talking about how we can now begin to use information on the world wide web, to take advantage of this wonderful medium.

Since IJPE is not a peer-reviewed journal, the focus of the open access movement, it is not quite accurate to call IJPE OA - even though it is gratis, libre, and scholarly in nature.

The libre aspect of IJPE is legally expressed in the IJPE Creative Commons license - Attribution / Noncommercial / Sharealike.

What does this mean?

Attribution: as an author, I would like credit for my work, so please cite it and include URLs to IJPE blogposts! Another way to look at this: if you think there are some good ideas on IJPE, please share them with others in a way that they, too, can share - this means maximum impact for the work that I share on IJPE.

Noncommercial: if you think there is commercial value in IJPE, perhaps a commercial market for a book or movie based on the blog - let's talk! On the other hand, if an idea you read about on IJPE inspires your entrepreneurial spirit, to me this is not a commercial use of IJPE per se; ideas are not covered by copyright law. If I want to restrict use of an idea for commercial purposes, I should seek a patent.

Sharealike: feel free to make derivative works of IJPE - translations, a version of a blogpost more suited to a particular readership, etc. If you plan to Sharealike (share your work openly, too), there is no need to seek permission. If you'd like to limit your work, presumably because your motive is profit - that's commercial use, so again, let's talk!