[open-science] How CC-BY can become TA

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Thu Dec 15 03:24:55 UTC 2011

On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 7:24 PM, john wilbanks <jtw at del-fi.org> wrote:

> Anyone who pays for a CC BY article is paying a tax for being bad at web
> search.
I think this is a great quote.

However it is not always that simple. As long as the amount of open access
remains small there is always the likelihood that OA articles are bundled
into portals and offered for sale. I discovered two cases of my own OA
article being resold for substantial amounts of money:
If people access the Toll-access offerings through portals then this is an
ever-present danger. For example in 2007 the British Library resold my open
access articles unless you actually visit the library - it is simpler to
charge everybody rather than check permission  (please correct me if this
has changed).

BTW no licence would stop this unless I wanted to take the BL or others to

The sad fact is that most OA advocates do not police practice and probably
don't care, so we have to do what we can as individuals to find the worst
violations. In academia we do not care about pointing the rest of the world
to self-archived copies - it only affects the scholarly poor - we in
scholarly rich universities can find the literature through our toll-access
subscriptions. I would feel more strongly about supporting GreenOA if we
actually built an index of it - it's not fair to expect the scholarly poor
to traverse the tangle of badly organised "free" publications.

> jtw
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Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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