[Open-access] scholarly articles still not in OA. What could we do?

Bjoern Brembs b.brembs at gmail.com
Fri Jan 31 14:17:53 UTC 2014

On Friday, January 31, 2014, 3:03:56 PM, you wrote:

> But I am under the impression that this fight tends to forget
> former journals, old papers, etc. some of which are, at
> least in social sciences, still relevant and useful. Could
> we launch a sort of a campaign "OA for now, but also OA to
> the past", in order to entice researchers to put all their
> old papers in OA? Or support libraries that could do it
> with their old collections or older series? Maybe this is
> already in the make and I am not aware of it?

This is something that I think should be solvable in principle.
Copyright expires after a number of years. Depending on several factors, this can be 28 years, 70 years, 95 years or 120 years. So in most cases, a 1994 article is still protected by copyright and is just as difficult to make OA as any other copyrighted, more recent article.

But I agree with you that libraries should try and harvest everything, independent of its protection and make available everything that is legal to make available.
I would really like to see how one would apply copyright law to determine which articles in the scholarly literature could be seen as publicly accessible at this point in time and what percentage of the scholarly literature this would be. 
Does anybody know someone who could answer this question, ideally in paper form for our special issue? :-)



Björn Brembs
Universität Regensburg

More information about the open-access mailing list