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Balancing rights

Pushing the boundaries for Open Access while maintaining good relationships with publishers can be a tricky balancing act.

Organisations are constantly negotiating on a global scale to ensure a 'balance of rights' between stakeholders concerned with scholarly communication - the Statement of Principle published by the Research Information Network is a good example of this, describing how to take advantage of new technologies to move practice forward while recognising publishers' concerns.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) aims to "correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system" and has produced a briefing paper on how to change copyright transfer agreements - http://www.arl.org/sparc/bm~doc/SPARC_AuthorRights2006.pdf

The Copyright Toolbox produced by JISC and the SURF Foundation states that rights "need to be managed in a way that respects the interests of both author and publisher", in keeping with the Zwolle Principles.

The RCUK, in its position statement supporting open access, also acknowledges the need for both authors and publishers to respect this balance: "Full implementation of these requirements must be undertaken such that current copyright and licensing policies, for example embargo periods or provisions limiting the use of deposited content to non-commercial purposes, are respected by authors. The research councils' position is based on the assumption that publishers will maintain the spirit of their current policies."

We encourage our researchers to take full advantage of the benefits of making their research outputs available in Research@StAndrews:FullText, while respecting the current scholarly publishing framework.

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