Saturday, March 5, 2011

Shaking Down Science

Shaking Down Science: Why do IEEE and ACM act against the interests of scholars? [...] Some time in January, the IEEE apparently quietly revised its copyright policy to explicitly forbid us authors from sharing the 'final' versions of our papers on the web, now reserving that privilege to themselves [...] To be fair to IEEE, the ACM's official policy is at least as bad. Not all technical societies
are like this; for example, Usenix, on whose board I serve, manages to thrive despite making all its publications available online for free, no paywall access required.

All publications of the Association for Computational Linguistics, most recently its journal Computational Linguistics have become open access. Most of the main venues for machine learning, NIPS, ICML, and JMLR, are also open access. None of this happened by accident, it required leadership, organizational effort and sustained participation by many members of those communities. All of these venues are thriving, with steady growth in submissions and accepted papers. We need to build on the open-access success of Usenix, ACL, and other venues in computing to push for open access at ACM and IEEE.

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