APSA papers: The Sequel

by Henry on March 8, 2007

It’s probably getting on towards bedtime in the Netherlands, so Ingrid may not have seen that Michael Brintnall, executive director of APSA, has “responded in comments”:https://crookedtimber.org/2007/03/07/papers-for-sale/#comment-189268

The annual meeting papers are not meant to be sold, and All Academic is taking them down. It was a mistake that caused them to be up for sale at that site, and we regret it. … The papers are on-line at www.politicalscience.org as part of the PROl initiative. This is an open-access site, operated as a collaboration of APSA and a large number of other political science associations. It’s an extension of APSA’s PROceedings site, where papers are posted for each annual meeting, and it brings together scholarship from a host of other annual meetings too. It’s a good place to search for early scholarship, and I encourage you to use it. All-Academic is the contractor that we use to set up the site. There was some recent confusion about their including our papers in their own for-sale data base. None of the papers from the politicalscience.org project is meant to be at the All Academic site for sale and they are removing them. … I hope this hiccup with All Academic doesn’t fuel any cynicism about making early scholarship like this available on an open access basis – it’s the purpose of the politicalscience.org project, and it’s what academic discourse is about.

This seems to me to be a perfectly gracious response and explanation. As noted in comments, I would like to see APSA consider a different technology – politicalscience.org’s current system has session specific links, which means that e.g. bloggers can’t easily link to interesting political science papers. A system with permalinks like arXiv would allow for much better circulation of political science papers in the general public conversation. But that’s a topic for a different day.

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Mike Otsuka 03.09.07 at 7:54 am

The above excerpt from Michael Brintnall’s comment omits his affirmation that “APSA does hold the copyright on papers presented at the conference”.

As I explain here in the thread of Ingrid’s original post, this insistence on transfer to the APSA of the right to profit from the author’s work fuels the cynicism that he hopes to avoid.

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