Confused about copyright? Assessing Researchers’ Comprehension of Copyright Transfer Agreements

Authors: Alexandra Kohn, Jessica Lange

INTRODUCTION

Academic authors’ confusion about copyright and publisher policy is often cited as a challenge to their effective sharing of their own published research, from having a chilling effect on selfarchiving in institutional and subject repositories, to leading to the posting of versions of articles on social networking sites in contravention of publisher policy and beyond.

This study seeks to determine the extent to which authors understand the terms of these policies as expressed in publishers’ copyright transfer agreements (CTAs), taking into account such factors as the authors’ disciplines and publishing experience, as well as the wording and structure of these agreements.

METHODS

We distributed an online survey experiment to corresponding authors of academic research articles indexed in the Scopus database. Participants were randomly assigned to read one of two copyright transfer agreements and were subsequently asked to answer a series of questions about these agreements to determine their level of comprehension.

The survey was sent to 3,154 participants, with 122 responding, representing a 4% response rate. Basic demographic information as well as information about participants’ previous publishing experience was also collected. We analyzed the survey data using Ordinary Least Squared (OLS) regressions and probit regressions.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Participants demonstrated a low rate of understanding of the terms of the CTAs they were asked to read. Participants averaged a score of 33% on the survey, indicating a low comprehension level of author rights.

This figure did not vary significantly, regardless of the respondents’ discipline, time in academia, level of experience with publishing, or whether or not they had published previously with the publisher whose CTA they were administered. Results also indicated that participants did equally poorly on the survey regardless of which of the two CTAs they received.

However, academic authors do appear to have a greater chance of understanding a CTA when a specific activity is explicitly outlined in the text of the agreement.

URL : Confused about copyright? Assessing Researchers’ Comprehension of Copyright Transfer Agreements

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2253

Scholarly Management Publication and Open Access Funding Mandates: a Review of Publisher Policies

Author : Jessica Lange

The open access movement has been growing steadily over the past twenty years. Recently, many national funding agencies in North America have been requiring recipients of grant-funding to make their articles open access.

On the surface this produces a potential conflict for management researchers; management faculty members are expected to publish in prestigious journals but the discipline views open access journals as being of lower quality (Hahn & Wyatt, 2014, p.98).

As such, the question arises if it is it possible for management researchers to comply with open access policies while still publishing in highly-ranked journals?

This article will compare publishing policies from top management journals to funding agencies’ open access requirements in order to determine which journals meet these conditions.

Journals will be drawn from several established journal lists such as the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) 24, the Financial Times (FT) Research Rankings, and Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science Journal Citation Reports.

Results show that 80% of journals in the sample set are compatible with open access funding mandates. Of the journals which are compatible, 48% require an APC and 52% permit self-archiving in an acceptable time-frame.

In addition to discussing open access publishing opportunities in management, this article will highlight opportunities for management librarians to develop their services and act as resources for faculty navigating this new framework.

URL : Scholarly Management Publication and Open Access Funding Mandates: a Review of Publisher Policies

Alternative location : http://ticker.mcgill.ca/article/view/19