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September 20, 2007
Tear Down the (Digital Science Publishing) Walls
Dan Saffer has a piqued entry over at his Adaptive Path blog. He's peeved at organizations such as the ACM, which publish content in paid subscription digital libraries. I have a basic sympathy for his point in that I think free access to scientific literature is good for research and innovation, but I think he's shooting at the wrong target.
ACM is ahead of many professional organizations in granting blanket permission-to-copy for scientific uses of everything they publish. ACM authors are free to reuse, revise, and publish personal copies of works, unlike certain other societies that have gone so far as to forbid authors from publishing their own writing on personal Web sites as a condition of acceptance for professional publication.
dan, if you want to rant about something truly awful, go join PLoS in protesting astronomical journal fees.
(Full disclosure: I was an ACM member from 1980 to 2006 and have a handful of papers in ACM publications. I've also served on numerous ACM conference committees and know way too much about budgets and why ACM sometimes charges speakers to come and present their own work.)
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