You may have seen this article in the December 6 edition of Wired Campus in the Chronicle: “Posting your Latest Article? You Might have to Take it Down.” In short, an environmental studies professor posted PDFs of his own articles on Academia.edu, a scholarly networking site. Elsevier served Academia.edu and the professor with a take-down notice, one of nearly 3,000 that was sent to Academia.edu thus far. This raises the question of how can you retain your rights as an author to post your materials on personal, professional, and institutional websites?
The Library has a guide for authors who wish to retain their posting rights. This guide has a link to the “Dartmouth College Publication Agreement Amendment” which you can sign and include with publishers’ contracts. This amendment enables you retain the right to use your work in the course of your scholarly activities, to make copies of it, to post it to a website or place it in a digital repository managed by the College, and to share it with colleagues and students as you choose.
The Library can also advise you regarding publishers’ contracts and the rights they do and do not grant to you as an individual author. One great site to check is Sherpa RoMEO.
In related news: “Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals: Randy Schekman says his lab will no longer send papers to Nature, Cell and Science as they distort scientific process.”
Update: Randy Schekman also did an AMA on reddit. There are some really interesting questions and comments to read even though the author is no longer responding to the thread.
If you have questions about the Elsevier/Academia.edu incident, the author’s amendment, or about scholarly communication and open access more generally, please don’t hesitate to ask!