STM publishers clarify position on authors' rights

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STM has released an evidence-based report in response to the debate on the rights that authors have over their published works. ‘Statement on Journal Publishing Agreements and Copyright Addenda’ is intended to clarity to the debate and to clear up misunderstandings about purportedly restrictive practices or policies of publishers.

The report found that STM publishers invariably allow the authors of journal articles to use their published papers in their own teaching and for educational purposes generally within their institutions. Most journals have policies that permit authors to provide copies of their papers to research colleagues, and to re-use portions of their papers in further works or books. Although some news-oriented science and medical magazines have a few restrictions on pre-publication posting, almost all research journals permit the posting by the author or the author’s institution of some version of the paper on the internet.

Michael Mabe, CEO of STM commented: ‘Many of the usage policies we describe have been in place for many years. Our industry regularly reviews the needs and interests expressed by scholars, researchers and educators, and responds directly to these. Changes reflecting the needs of pre-print servers and institutional repositories are a case in point. Policy debate should be well-informed and based on evidence and consultation.’