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Friday, July 03, 2015

Scholar Social Networks and Copyright.

Copyright Symbols
Credit: Mike Seyfang on Flickr.
I recently joined ResearchGate, a social network for scholars. Its stated mission "is to connect researchers and make it easy for them to share and access scientific output, knowledge, and expertise. On ResearchGate they find what they need to advance their research." I previously joined, which kind of looks like Facebook for scholars. The link to my home page has been in the right-hand sidebar for some years. Many of my recent conference papers have been uploaded to that site.

Since joining ResearchGate, I've been bombarded with requests to upload copies of my published articles (and books). Unfortunately, as most scholars know, I do not own the copyright to these works. They were typically transferred as a condition of publication when the pieces were originally accepted.

There are exceptions. For example, a coauthored piece on the biological weapons taboo was published in a security journal produced by the U.S. military. Since the publication is produced by the government, no third party holds the copyright. I also published a piece on "The Geopolitics of Global Climate Change" in Sustain Magazine, which is published locally by the Kentucky Institute for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Their back issues are open access. My article begins on p. 9, immediately following a piece by NASA's Jim Hansen.

I've been checking and some of the commercial publishing companies allow me to upload a pdf to my personal or departmental website, so long as I meet several conditions. Cambridge University Press allows this, for instance, though at least one copyright in a Cambridge journal belongs to the American Political Science Association because the article is published in one of their organizational journals.

Unfortunately, I do not have direct control over my departmental webpage.  Thus, I'm planning to upload files to Google Drive and then post direct links here at the blog. This is my primary personal website and I've already had various links in the right-hand column that can ultimately lead you to my work. I'll probably start a page today and add links and necessary information as I check copyrights.

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