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Population Policy

May 19, 2010

Just had a paper come out in Public Health Ethics on autonomy in population policy. I co-authored this one with my dear sis. I won’t comment much on the paper itself. You can head there and read it if you feel so inclined.

What strikes me as odd, however, is the new free access policy of Oxford Journals. Rather than sending authors paper proofs, they send a link to a free version of the article and encourage the authors to publicize it on their websites. Here’s what they say:

You may wish to include these links in your list of publications. As with an offprint, following these links allows interested readers free access to the full text of your paper whether or not they are a subscriber to the journal. However, in distributing the link, we request that you consider the following points:

• The article should only be viewed from the Oxford Journals site, and not hosted by your own personal/institutional web site or that of other third parties, though you or your co-authors may post the URLs on your own sites or those of your institutions/organizations;

• Single copies of the article can be printed and distributed to interested colleagues who wish to use the article for personal research/study purposes only. For those wishing to make commercial use of the article, please direct them to journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org for permissions information or see the website.

Now this is a policy that I can certainly stand behind. It’s very nice of them. I suppose the thinking is that, in the end, it’s good for authors to promote their own work, and if a given author happens to have a website, and if some interested reader suddenly takes interest in the work of that author, it’s better for the journal to grant access to the reader who has just discovered the author — on grounds that it will raise the profile of the journal — rather than doing a wide search on journals to which the reader only may or may not have access. Pretty cool. Go Oxford!

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