MLA Adopts New Open-Access Policy

The journals of the Modern Language Association, including PMLA, Profession, and the ADE and ADFL bulletins, have adopted new open-access-friendly author agreements, which will go into use with their next full issues. The revised agreements leave copyright with the authors and explicitly permit authors to deposit in open-access repositories and post on personal or departmental Web sites the versions of their manuscripts accepted for publication.

Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the MLA, said that the association’s new policy “was not responding at all” to various forms of federal legislation and regulations requiring that more federal grant-supported research results be made openly available to the public.  Rather, she said, “we see that publishing needs are changing, and our members are telling us that they want to place their scholarship in repositories, and to disseminate work on blogs.” Professors want to produce articles that “circulate freely,” she said, and that reach as many people as possible. Until now, the MLA policy was that the journals held copyright, and the only blanket exception was that authors could use their works (with attribution to the MLA publication that published it) in other works.

According to Scott Jaschik, co-founder of Inside Higher Ed, the new MLA policy appears to move beyond those of other humanities organizations — although some of them have created ways to work with authors who want their scholarship in open access repositories. The American Historical Association, for example, holds copyright on articles that appear in its journals, but its author agreement tells authors that — if they ask — they will be granted permission to post articles in repositories and on personal websites. The Organization of American Historians — which publishes The Journal of American History with the Oxford University Press — gives authors a link that can be used for open access repositories. But Nancy Croker, director of operations for the OAH, said that “we do hope that an author would not circulate their article in such a way that it jeopardizes the integrity of the publication as a whole.”

Many disciplinary associations have been dubious of the open access movement, saying that it would hurt their revenues from journals (either directly through subscriptions or indirectly as an incentive to become a member of the association).

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/06/mla-embraces-open-access-writer-agreements-journals#ixzz25pc7XR30
Inside Higher Ed

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/06/mla-embraces-open-access-writer-agreements-journals#ixzz25pb59gNd
Inside Higher Ed

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