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 2009-07-28, 01:22 #1 flouran     Dec 2008 72×17 Posts An Open Access Library of Mathematical Documents Hi, As many of you know I have a (admittedly narcissistic) thread where I frequently ask for math papers. I was wondering, since I am not affiliated with any university at the moment, whether there is a website where papers from all/most math journals are open to public access (just like the arXiv, but published papers rather than preprints are on the servers)? If not, why not? Also, if none such site exists, then I was thinking maybe there should be one. Kind of like a site where mathematicians can post papers publicly and contact each other/message each other like Facebook (though I hate Facebook).
2009-07-28, 02:33   #2
CRGreathouse

Aug 2006

5,987 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by flouran If not, why not?
Title 17 USC.

2009-07-28, 03:13   #3
flouran

Dec 2008

72·17 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by CRGreathouse Title 17 USC.
Yeah, I mean it does violate copyright laws. But, if the consent of the author and the journal are gained, can't they post their papers publicly?

2009-07-28, 04:48   #4
CRGreathouse

Aug 2006

5,987 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by flouran Yeah, I mean it does violate copyright laws. But, if the consent of the author and the journal are gained, can't they post their papers publicly?
Why would a journal agree to that? Then no one would buy their product.

For what very little it's worth I agree with you. I think traditional journals are a dying breed, and high-quality publications like JIS and INTEGERS will replace them. But it might take a very long time indeed.

Last fiddled with by CRGreathouse on 2009-07-28 at 05:07

 2009-08-03, 08:31 #5 plandon   May 2009 Loughborough, UK 22·11 Posts An open access library is a good idea, and the maths community would benefit. However the profit making publishers will not give away a right to copy. The benefits of an electronic open access library could include full text searching, hyperlinking of references, links to new data, corrigenda and results (since publication of the original paper) and better indexing as well as being open access. There are projects whose aim is to do that (partially) such as Project Euclid http://projecteuclid.org/DPubS?Servi...=about_mission and JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/ JSTOR is a wonderful resource and I wouldn't like to guess how many petabytes it holds. It is not free however, but is free to end users at most universities and such places as The Bavarian State Library and the House of Commons library. I hope the charges will decrease as more institutions subscribe. One philisophical issue I do have with JSTOR is that it is guilty of taking publications past their copyright date (so called orphans), slapping a JSTOR logo and (C) symbol on them and piratically claiming control of them, as well as strictly restricting any fair use access that you or me might have. I hope there will be an evolutionary migration towards electronic accessible publications, and young aspiring authors could make a political decision to support that when they are deciding which journal to publish in. Meanwhile, all I can do is give you some seeking tips or searchlore for finding electronic copies on the net. Many of the co-authors will have a copy in their webpages or other people may have a copy for a tutorial group, shared if not with full public access. Once you have found the abstract, try searching for some exact text from the abstract rather than the title. This will help find the full paper rather than the million and one citations of it. Often a copy of the paper will be found in some directory of some university but without public access. Now try finding it with that uni's internal google or search engine. Often the text will not be directly publicly accessible but is fully accessible as the search engine's cache copy - hehe. There are other methods too, but I won't go into them here, and they can be more work than spending a day at a library with JSTOR access and printing off all the papers you want. I shall not recommend here simply walking into your nearest uni library and confidently strolling to the maths section ;)
2009-08-03, 15:06   #6
CRGreathouse

Aug 2006

5,987 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by plandon One philisophical issue I do have with JSTOR is that it is guilty of taking publications past their copyright date (so called orphans), slapping a JSTOR logo and (C) symbol on them and piratically claiming control of them, as well as strictly restricting any fair use access that you or me might have.
They can't claim copyright on expired documents. You can freely ignore that. (IANAL, but I'm sure you could drag up plenty of precedent on Cornell's LLI section on court opinions.)

But they're not required to give access to documents in the public domain, and they *might* be able to claim arrangement on the database as a whole. (I would certainly hope that this could not be used to restrict people from duplicating the PD materials en masse, but that's far less clear from a legal perspective.)

2009-08-03, 23:31   #7
flouran

Dec 2008

72·17 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by plandon An open access library is a good idea, and the maths community would benefit. However the profit making publishers will not give away a right to copy. The benefits of an electronic open access library could include full text searching, hyperlinking of references, links to new data, corrigenda and results (since publication of the original paper) and better indexing as well as being open access. There are projects whose aim is to do that (partially) such as Project Euclid http://projecteuclid.org/DPubS?Servi...=about_mission and JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/ JSTOR is a wonderful resource and I wouldn't like to guess how many petabytes it holds. It is not free however, but is free to end users at most universities and such places as The Bavarian State Library and the House of Commons library. I hope the charges will decrease as more institutions subscribe. One philisophical issue I do have with JSTOR is that it is guilty of taking publications past their copyright date (so called orphans), slapping a JSTOR logo and (C) symbol on them and piratically claiming control of them, as well as strictly restricting any fair use access that you or me might have. I hope there will be an evolutionary migration towards electronic accessible publications, and young aspiring authors could make a political decision to support that when they are deciding which journal to publish in. Meanwhile, all I can do is give you some seeking tips or searchlore for finding electronic copies on the net. Many of the co-authors will have a copy in their webpages or other people may have a copy for a tutorial group, shared if not with full public access. Once you have found the abstract, try searching for some exact text from the abstract rather than the title. This will help find the full paper rather than the million and one citations of it. Often a copy of the paper will be found in some directory of some university but without public access. Now try finding it with that uni's internal google or search engine. Often the text will not be directly publicly accessible but is fully accessible as the search engine's cache copy - hehe. There are other methods too, but I won't go into them here, and they can be more work than spending a day at a library with JSTOR access and printing off all the papers you want. I shall not recommend here simply walking into your nearest uni library and confidently strolling to the maths section ;)
I might add that with the rise of torrenting and internet filesharing, this "completely open-access electronic library" is not too far from fruition. Most people nowadays do not buy music and movies; instead, they just download it! I think the same is occurring with other forms of media (such as math documents ) as well.

2009-08-04, 11:09   #8
plandon

May 2009
Loughborough, UK

548 Posts

Quote:
That is a large widening of the discussion.
I note that I (and many others) have made more money from music and software than I have spent on music and software.
You are welcome to start a thread
but for now let's take as axioms that the copyright laws are not going to change too much and that it is A Good Idea(TM) to work within the law most of the time.

JSTOR costs millions of dollars to run. It's charges can be up to $45,000 one off fee plus$8,500 per annum.

I was talking about 2 separate cases
Case A: Fair Use of IP still copyrighted.
Case B: Documents where the copyright has expired.

I am not blaming JSTOR, the situation was probably forced upon them as a condition of being given access to the source publications.

But JSTOR is physically and technologically (& EULAs) stopping or controlling both Case A and Case B.
JSTOR delivers an image that is only viewable or printable through JSTOR software installed on library machines.
You could scan in a printout from JSTOR and claim fair use, but otherwise if one were to scan Case B documents, modify them by removing the JSTOR logo and (C) and distribute them; I wouldn't like to be dragged to court to become a precedent.

Maybe you could get away with retyping just the text without any graphics or images.

The point being that these orphan documents are out of copyright but not in the public domain. CRG is correct that JSTOR is not required to make them available if it chooses not to.

The main improvement that could be made for an open access library is if there was better indexing of maths documents - I will save that for another post.

2009-08-04, 14:09   #9
CRGreathouse

Aug 2006

5,987 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by plandon JSTOR delivers an image that is only viewable or printable through JSTOR software installed on library machines.
This isn't true at all. The pages are .gif images and the papers can be downloaded as pdf files; both formats can be read by almost all systems.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by plandon You could scan in a printout from JSTOR and claim fair use, but otherwise if one were to scan Case B documents, modify them by removing the JSTOR logo and (C) and distribute them; I wouldn't like to be dragged to court to become a precedent.
As little as a person would like to become a precedent, JSTOR wants a precedent even less. The EFF would almost surely want to get involved, for example.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by plandon The point being that these orphan documents are out of copyright but not in the public domain.
False!

Quote:
 Originally Posted by plandon Maybe you could get away with retyping just the text without any graphics or images.
I've done this before, generally because the quality of the scan is poor. It's certainly allowable.

 2009-08-04, 14:15 #10 CRGreathouse     Aug 2006 5,987 Posts Relevant here: Bridgeman Art Library, Ltd. v. Corel Corp.
 2009-08-14, 04:50 #11 Dougy     Aug 2004 Melbourne, Australia 23·19 Posts Some journals are free. Eg. INTEGERS and The electronic journal of combinatorics Some authors put their papers on their websites+arXiv (as you mention). It is quite difficult to access them otherwise. Download them all while you're affiliated with a uni or ask someone at a uni to get it for you.

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