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ResourcesResearch IntegrityScience publishers try new tack to combat unauthorized paper sharing – Nature (Quirin Schiermeier | May 2017)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Science publishers try new tack to combat unauthorized paper sharing – Nature (Quirin Schiermeier | May 2017)

Published/Released on May 10, 2017 | Posted by Admin on August 30, 2017 / , , , ,
 


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Ross Mounce knows that when he shares his research papers online, he may be doing something illegal — if he uploads the final version of a paper that has appeared in a subscription-based journal. Publishers who own copyright on such papers frown on their unauthorized appearance online. Yet when Mounce has uploaded his paywalled articles to ResearchGate, a scholarly social network likened to Facebook for scientists, publishers haven’t asked him to take them down. “I’m aware that I might be breaching copyright,” says Mounce, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Cambridge, UK. “But I don’t really care.”

Mounce isn’t alone in his insouciance. The unauthorized sharing of copyrighted research papers is on the rise, say analysts who track the publishing industry. Faced with this problem, science publishers seem to be changing tack in their approach to researchers who breach copyright. Instead of demanding that scientists or network operators take their papers down, some publishers are clubbing together to create systems for legal sharing of articles — called fair sharing — which could also help them to track the extent to which scientists share paywalled articles online.

Free article sharing is embedded in the way science works, says Mandy Hill, managing director of academic publishing at Cambridge University Press, UK. “It is important that, as publishers, we accept this and find ways to support fair sharing of content whilst ensuring the sustainability of the research publishing business,” she says.

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