Copyright notice from NRC Press.

Well, it finally happened. I received a copyright notice from a publisher about reprints that are posted on my lab website. I actually thought most publishers were sympathetic to the realities of scientific communication and let that sort of thing slide, but apparently not. I’m particularly disappointed that it comes from the National Research Council (NRC) Press of Canada.

Sometimes people would ask what would happen if a publisher asked me to take down my papers. Often I would answer that I would comply, but that I would never have anything to do with that publisher again, either as an author or a reviewer. The fact that this is from the NRC Press is a shame, because I have published a lot with them and have reviewed a large number of manuscripts for several of their journals. I am also working on a special issue for one of them, but I may have to reconsider that now.

Anyway, here’s the message. It’s polite and not threatening at all, but it does make it clear that colleagues outside of Canada will have to ask me for each reprint that they want, which is a huge pain for them and for me.

Hi Ryan,

It has been brought to my attention that the full PDF version of a number of articles published with NRC Research Press have been posted on your website as “Reprints” which can be freely accessed by anyone.

We do have a liberal authors’ rights policy (http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/page/authors/information/rights ) and author benefits (http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/page/authors ), which allow authors to post their submitted and accepted manuscript, but not the final PDF. We also provide authors a free copy of their final PDF, which can be passed around to colleagues for personal use, but they are not to be posted on a website other than the NRC research Press website (http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/). We do not charge our authors page or submission charges, but as a not-for-profit publisher we need to generate revenue through subscriptions to run our operation.

Here is the link to your site where the “reprints” are in copyright violation: http://www.gregorylab.org/cv/. We would prefer that you link to the PDF on our site, which would be freely accessible to all Canadians (content pre-2011) and paid subscribers.

Here is a list of publications in question:

45. Andrews, C.B. and T.R. Gregory (2009). Genome size is inversely correlated with relative brain size in parrots and cockatoos. Genome 52: 261-267.
-Reprint-
39. Gregory, T.R. and J.D.S. Witt (2008). Population size and genome size in fishes: a closer look. Genome 51: 309-313.
-Reprint-
22. Gregory, T.R. (2003). Genome size estimates for two important freshwater molluscs, the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) and the schistosomiasis vector snail (Biomphalaria glabrata). Genome 46: 841-844.
-Reprint-
21. Gregory, T.R. and P.D.N. Hebert (2003). Genome size variation in lepidopteran insects. Canadian Journal of Zoology 81: 1399-1405.
-Reprint-
18. Prokopowich, C.D., T.R. Gregory, and T.J. Crease (2003). The correlation between rDNA copy number and genome size in eukaryotes. Genome46: 48-50.
-Reprint-
14. Gregory, T.R. (2002). Genome size and developmental parameters in the homeothermic vertebrates. Genome 45: 833-838.
-Reprint-
13. Gregory, T.R. (2002). Genome size of the northern walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata (Phasmida: Heteronemiidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 1303-1305.
-Reprint-
11. Gregory, T.R. and P.D.N. Hebert (2002). Genome size estimates for some oligochaete annelids. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 1485-1489.
-Reprint-
7. Gregory, T.R. (2000). Nucleotypic effects without nuclei: genome size and erythrocyte size in mammals. Genome 43: 895-901.
-Reprint-
2. Gregory, T.R. and C.M. Wood (1999). Interactions between individual feeding behaviour, growth, and swimming performance in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed different rations. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56: 479-486.
-Reprint-
1. Gregory, T.R. and C.M. Wood (1998). Individual variation and interrelationships between swimming performance, growth rate, and feeding in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 55: 1583-1590.
-Reprint-

Thanks.


6 comments to Copyright notice from NRC Press.

  • Sam

    Commercial publishers, unsatisfied with their existing wealth, begin the process of killing the golden goose.  I, for one, welcome this, as it will accelerate their slide into irrelevance.

      (Quote)

    • Well, this one is actually a not-for-profit corporation. It used to be publically owned, but I see what the change to a private corporation means now. Not sure if I am a golden goose, but I have published quite a few papers in their journals and have reviewed something like 20 manuscripts for them.

        (Quote)

  • I am so sorry that this stupid thing has happened to you.
    Please stick with your original plan of “never having anything to do with that publisher again, either as an author or a reviewer”; but, equally important, please write back to them clearly stating that this is what you are doing, so they understand the consequences of their actions.  A sanction that a publisher doesn’t know about is one that can’t modify its future behaviour.
    In the mean time … “We would prefer that you link to the PDF on our site, which would be freely accessible to all Canadians” has to be one of the most They Just Don’t Get It comments I’ve ever read.  The notion of siloing Canada off, away from the rest of the world of science, is profoundly dumb.  Even if it were possible, which it isn’t, it wouldn’t be desirable.  The most they can hope to achieve by this policy is to impose time-wasting roadblocks, and so royally piss people off.
    *sigh*
     

      (Quote)

  • Bobo

    How dare they be upset about you posting their property on your website.
     

      (Quote)

    • Adam

      How dare they be upset about you posting their property on your website.
      Bobo—in this case, making the work available online will not have any impact on the market for the articles, which are packaged in journal form, and to which access is provided by large institutions buying in bulk. And the interest in making a scientific paper readily available is very high, for society as a whole. So I think that the NRC is reacting too strongly in a pre-emptive manner here. There is not much value added by an electronic publisher offering articles on line. Most of the work is done by the scientific community, and in many cases, production is of poor quality. Publishers are making a last-ditch effort to protect themselves from a failing business model and are essentially manipulating markets by simply being big. They probably ought to make the article text in human-readable for free, under a creative commons license, and sell informatic services for those interested in the text base as a whole. The NRC has the letter of the law on its side, but not the spirit. 

      PS hi Ryan! It’s been a while! 

        (Quote)

  • Here’s what I’d do: Stick a PDF of the manuscript as you sent it to them up there and then politely tell them to get fucked. For extra credit, provide a diff of your submitted version and their published version.
     

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