Academic Journals Resolve Copyright Conflict over Wikipedia

2008-10-06

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The American Physical Society (APS) is one of the most important publishers in physics, well-known for its Physical Review journals, including their flagship Physical Review Letters. Like most other publishers, APS requires authors to transfer copyright, meaning you may not use the materials elsewhere without permission from the APS. This created trouble for some researchers who wanted to put their research on Wikipedia and other open content sites because the APS refused to permit them to do so. Fortunately, the APS has now changed their copyright policy, thus resolving the issue.

The new copyright transfer form allows the creation of derivative works (e.g., articles on Wikipedia) provided that the new work contains at least 10% of original material and no more than 50% of the APS-published work are used. In their copyright policies FAQ the APS also states that this applies to articles published under the old rules as well. So if you have some nice figures you want to put on Wikimedia Commons or Quantiki, fire them up.

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Copyright 2006--2011 Hendrik Weimer. This document is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. See the licensing terms for further details.