Monday, February 13, 2012

A way of saying "this is open access"

In honour of the 10th anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (February 14), here is a way of saying "this is open access" based on BOAI. I am hoping that this kind of approach can lend clarity and avoid some of the complexities that come with Creative Commons licensing. In brief, the basic idea is to make a statement that a work is made open access in accord with the definition and the spirit of the Budapest Open Access Initiative. People can link to BOAI, or copy the text; and add specific permissions if these apply.

Here is an attempt at such a license for my scholarly blog, The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics:

This blog is open access in the definition and spirit of the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Note that sometimes I copy bits from other peoples' works, so please watch for this as my permissions apply only to my own work. What the definition and spirit of BOAI means to me is that you are free to take my work and reuse it, with attribution, as long as you make any copies or derivatives freely available and with the caveat that you may not sell my work, or place it behind a paywall.

Following are the relevant excerpts from BOAI -

Statement of spirit (intent)

An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.

Definition of open access

By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

This statement does not (yet) replace my CC-BY-NC-SA license for IJPE, but is rather presented as one idea to help in the struggle to Articulate the Commons.  Comments are welcome - join me in Google G+ for discussion.