Online Publication and Access to Journal Content
Approved by SSR Board of Directors, February 2002
We believe that scientific publishing belongs in the hands of scientists and that an important way to ensure this is with journals published by not-for-profit scientific societies such as SSR. How better to decide such critical issues as what and when and how to publish, who should serve as Editor-in-Chief and editorial board members, how articles are reviewed, and who reviews them? In fact, it is exactly for these reasons that scientific societies began to publish their journals in the first place.
For these reasons, we do not wish to see the control of scientific publishing wrested from not-for-profit scientific societies. We urge our colleagues not to support any boycotts that attempt to force scientific societies to relinquish their publication responsibilities and/or rights. Rather, we encourage our colleagues to continue to support the efforts of their society's publications.
To make our position clear, the Board of Directors of SSR wishes to emphasize the commitment of SSR to:
- Continued production of high-quality publications, primarily for the benefit of its membership and, consistent with SSR's Mission Statement, “…to promote the study of reproduction by fostering interdisciplinary communication within the science…” This commitment includes retention of our rights and obligations concerning copyright as well as the numerous editorial and production issues involved in producing such publications;
- Release of the content of Biology of Reproduction (BOR) Online to the public within a reasonable time period after initial publication, to be determined by the Board;
- Free access to the content of BOR and/or BOR Online to individual scientists from third-world countries in cases of financial hardship, to be approved by the Board; and
- Opposition to the efforts by various organizations/entities to force not-for-profit society-based publications into releasing their content or relinquishing their copyrights under conditions not agreeable to the society(ies). We interpret these efforts as compromising our ability to fulfill our responsibilities and obligations as outlined in the bulleted paragraphs above.