“For the past 25 years or so, Carl Malamud’s lonely mission has been to seize on the internet’s potential for spreading information — public information that people have a right to see, hear, and read….
Indeed, Malamud has had remarkable success and true impact. If you have accessed EDGAR, the free Securities and Exchange Commission database of corporate information, you owe a debt to Malamud. Same with the database of patents, or the opinions of the US Court of Appeals. Without Malamud, the contents of the Federal Register might still cost $1,700 instead of nothing. If you have listened to a podcast, note that it was Carl Malamud who pioneered the idea of radio-like content on internet audio — in 1993. And so on. As much as any human being on the planet, this unassuming-looking proprietor of a one-man nonprofit — a bald, diminutive, bespectacled 57-year-old — has understood and exploited the net (and the power of the printed word, as well) for disseminating information for the public good….”
“While Elsevier was completely within its rights to issue the take down notices, the end result is the view that Elsevier is not on the side of science, but merely of profit. There is room in the publishing landscape for non-profit and for-profit publishers, but those pursuing profits need to make sure that the pursuit of profit does not stifle scientific work. Otherwise those companies may see researchers turning to universities, libraries and non-profit organizations that prioritize the dissemination of scientific information.”
“Millions of articles might soon disappear from ResearchGate, the world’s largest scholarly social network. Last week, five publishers said they had formed a coalition that would start ordering ResearchGate to remove research articles from its site because they breach publishers’ copyright. A spokesperson for the group said that up to 7 million papers could be affected, and that a first batch of take-down notices, for around 100,000 articles, would be sent out “imminently”.
Meanwhile, coalition members Elsevier and the American Chemical Society have filed a lawsuit to try to prevent copyrighted material appearing on ResearchGate in future. The complaint, which has not been made public, was filed on 6 October in a regional court in Germany. (ResearchGate is based in Berlin). It makes a “symbolic request for damages” but its goal is to change the site’s behaviour, a spokesperson says….”
“ResearchGate, a popular for-profit academic social network that makes it easy to find and download research papers, is facing increasing pressure from publishers to change the way it operates.
On Tuesday, the American Chemical Society and Elsevier, two large academic publishers, launched a second legal battle against the Berlin-based social networking site — this time not in Europe, but in the U.S.
The publishers accuse ResearchGate of “massive infringement of peer-reviewed, published journal articles.” They say that the networking site is illegally obtaining and distributing research papers protected by copyright law. They also suggest that the site is deliberately tricking researchers into uploading protected content. A spokesperson for ResearchGate declined to comment on the accusations.
The court documents, obtained by Inside Higher Ed from the U.S. District Court in Maryland, include an “illustrative” but “not exhaustive list” of 3,143 research articles the publishers say were shared by ResearchGate in breach of copyright protections. The publishers suggest they could be entitled to up to $150,000 for each infringed work — a possible total of more than $470 million….”
“This is not the final chapter in the story of the relationships between ResearchGate and various publishers but this negotiated agreement with SNCUPT does demonstrate that there is not a uniformity of perspective in the publishing community about article sharing on ResearchGate, or presumably on the many other scholarly collaboration networks that exist. It also signals that ResearchGate, a decade-old start-up disruptor with with venture capital investment and a rapidly grown user base, has taken its place at the negotiating table and found not just enemies but allies.”
“”I am instructed by my Client, the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers (STM), to write to you regarding the content, activities and conduct related to the platform service ResearchGate….On behalf of STM, I urge you therefore to consider this proposal. If you fail to accede to this proposal by 22 September 2017, then STM will be leaving the path open for its individual members to follow up with you separately, whether individually or in groups sharing a similar interest and approach, as they may see fit….”
A recent takedown notice from the American Psychological Association (APA):
“I write on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA) to bring to your attention the unauthorized posting of final published journal articles to your institutional website. Following the discussion below, a formal DMCA takedown request is included with URLs to the location of these articles. As a reminder, authors of articles published by APA are able to post the final accepted, pre-formatted versions of their articles on their personal websites, university repositories, and author networking sites (see Internet Posting Guidelines here: http://www.apa.org/pubs/authors/posting.aspx). Similarly, APA complies with funder guidelines to post final accepted manuscripts into appropriate repositories when research is funded by a federal agency….”
“On January 15 (Sunday), it was discoveredon Twitter that the list of allegedly predatory publishers had been taken down and replaced with a short message saying ‘This service is no longer available.’.
What makes this strange situation even more peculiar is that one of the first coverage of this issue came from a known anti-Beallactivist. It is a short post that contains nothing of intellectual substance. It notes that the list and website has been taken down and speculates on the reason. It then proceeds to criticize Beall and recommend other approaches.
The post does not allow comments at the time of this writing, but some peoplesubmitted comments before that were never published, yet inspired the author to correct spelling. It also seems that the blog also has taken a lot of content from both Beall and Nature News, much more than what can reasonable by considered to be fair use.
How did this website come to know of the event so rapidly? Right now, there are more questions than answers.
What happens next?
Right now, there is virtually no information available on what happened. We do not know the reason for why the list has been taken down. On social media, speculations involve either a lawsuit threat by Frontiers or unauthorized and illegal access by a third party, but there is really no hard evidence as to why the list was taken down, why the website was purged or why the Facebook page was unpublished or removed.
Many people are highly interested in knowing what happened regardless of their position on the Beall list on allegedly predatory publishers. Some are willing to consider to repost or mirror the list as an act of solidarity should the reason for why the list was taken down be a result of a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP). This does not necessarily imply that such individuals agree with all decisions or opinions held by Beall, but value an open and honest discussion about a vocal minority of open access publishers that may or may not be predatory.
At the time this post was published, Beall has not responded to an email asking about details.”