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出版商寻机迫使ResearchGate网站移除海量学术论文

已有 3949 次阅读 2017-10-9 16:40 |个人分类:杂感|系统分类:观点评述| 出版, 科技论文, 学术分享, 学科交流

       研究人员提出科学思路,设计研究方案,获得原始科学数据并分析。部分在解决科学问题的同时,形成并发表学术论文。投稿和修稿过程中,研究人员和审稿人互动,使学术论文从稿件变成可以发表的版本。显然,学术杂志在选择学术编辑、审稿人和出版的过程中,起到了一定的作用,并正当获利。这样的互作过程中,学术编辑、审稿人均由研究人员,依据一定的共同体规则开展评阅和判断稿件质量的工作。

      学术论文为交流而生,初始目的并不在逐利。然而现在,学术期刊逐步做大,形成了学术共同体中产生一定利润的群体:研究人员发表论文需要从课题经费中付出发表费用;如果所在单位没有购买出版商的刊物,则可能需要逐篇购买阅读权。这样的费用,对不发达国家或者地区的研究人员,还有一些独立科研人员,则是一笔很高的费用。就中国的情况而言,很多处于研究生阶段,或者科研生涯初期的年轻人,如果没有导师或者科研经费的支持,很难支付论文发表费。显然,包括研究生、博士后等在内的年轻人,显然处于科研思维最活跃、能力最强的时段。不太夸张地说,现阶段大部分刊物的收费,没有考虑最大化发挥年轻人的作用。让他们在完成绝大部分科研活动,努力发表他们最好的成果的同时,难以分享由出版商掌控的科研成果发表的益处,从而将会影响科研共同体发展的可持续性。

      网络时代,ResearchGate是科研共同体分享科研论文非常好的平台之一。通过这个平台,研究人员可以自主找到自己的合作者,并自由探讨一些有趣的问题。每个学科发展到今天,已经形成了自然的边界。大部分ResearchGate上的专家会在这些边界明显的学科内和自己同行交换团队完成的论文,也是非常自然的事情。出版商的发言人说不会找研究人员的麻烦,而会起诉容许自由分享论文的ResearchGate。这比较荒唐:ResearchGate是否拿这些论文获利?出版商有没有权利阻止科研人员通过ResearchGate等在内的网站分享成果?

Comments - ridiculous. publishers benefit from academic community. they are now trying to block researchers to share their products. scientists should discuss this and fight back. they do hold the copy right to ask for profit, but they do not have the right to stop sharing between researchers.

Publishers seek removal of millions of papers from ResearchGate

Academic social network accused of infringing copyright on a massive scale

October 5, 2017
Woman frustrated with computer
Source: iStock

Leading publishers are stepping up their fight against ResearchGate by ordering the academic social network to take down papers that they say infringe copyright.

The move could see millions of articles removed from the site, as the publishers say up to 40 per cent of papers on ResearchGate are copyrighted.

James Milne, a spokesman for the group of five academic publishers, which includes Elsevier, Wiley and Brill, said that the first batch of take-down notices would be sent “imminently”.

“We’re not doing this in any way against the researchers, we’re doing this against ResearchGate,” he told Times Higher Education. The site was “clearly hosting and happily uploading material that they know they don’t have the licence or copyrights” to, and was “refusing to work with us to solve that problem”, he added.

According to a survey of academics released last year, Berlin-based ResearchGate is by some way the world’s biggest academic social network, used by about 60 per cent of academics, particularly in the physical and life sciences, and has raised nearly $90 million (£68 million) in funding from investors, according to the website Crunchbase.

Publishers are seeing “anecdotal” evidence that the availability of papers on the site is eating into their revenues, said Dr Milne. “We have heard during the subscriptions renewal process that librarians are occasionally referencing ResearchGate as an alternative to resubscribing to journals,” he said.

He attacked ResearchGate as being “backed by hundreds of millions of dollars [from venture capitalists,] who are seeking to make a profit from what [ResearchGate] do, which is upload copyright infringed material”.

“They put nothing back into the process for generating and validating and curating all that material,” he said.

The publisher Elsevier drew a backlash from many academics in 2013 when it told users of Academia.edu, a rival to ResearchGate, to take down papers to which it had rights. Dr Milne stressed that this time, the publishers would not directly send take-down notices to academics. “We will work with ResearchGate on this, not researchers,” he said, although the organisation would be communicating “en masse” with academics about how they can share their work properly.

But for the publishers, sending out mass take-down notices is not a permanent solution. “That in itself doesn’t solve the problem, because every day ResearchGate is uploading more and more material,” said Dr Milne, trapping publishers in a “perpetual loop” of having to identify infringing papers. He argued that this would be confusing for researchers, as “one day there’s content, and the next day there isn’t”, he said.

Elsevier and the American Chemical Society are therefore also taking ResearchGate to court where they hope to obtain a ruling that would stop ResearchGate “scraping content off the web, uploading it...and asking researchers to claim it” so that infringing material “is not in the public domain”, he explained. The court claim would be lodged in Europe, he said.

A ResearchGate spokeswoman declined to comment. The company’s founder and chief executive, Ijad Madisch, has previously said that he “wouldn’t mind” if copyrighted material was removed from the site, as researchers could continue to share papers privately.

david.matthews@timeshighereducation.com



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