AJEV and Dissemination of Research

AJEV/ASEV is frequently contacted with requests for online posting of AJEV articles on various organizational websites. Such requests may be from authors or from other people interested in access to articles and are generally well-founded, with the goal of further dissemination of research information. In responding to these inquiries—and in our notifications to organizations that simply post AJEV articles at will—AJEV is striving for consistency and clarity.We offer this explanation of our policies and how they work to sustain AJEV, the goal of which is to publish and thus support research in enology and viticulture.

As for most journals, authors of articles published in AJEV transfer their copyright (a form of intellectual property law) to ASEV. ASEV files the copyright with the U.S. Library of Congress each year so there is an official public record and certificate of registration. AJEV also assigns each article a digital object identifier (doi) number that is registered at the time of online publication. Both the copyright and doi establish official authorship and date of publication, which can be important in an infringement dispute.

AJEV, as holder of the copyright, grants authors the right to post their articles on their individual, academic (i.e., an individual in a department) web page, but not on other institutional or collective websites. For example, UC Davis V&E has a department faculty index page that links to each faculty member. Several of the faculty include a list of their publications, or selected publications, which we consider the appropriate place for posting of articles. It’s where others—students, colleagues, industry—can access that individual’s body of work, ideally published in a variety of journals.

On institutional websites (such as the UC Enology Access and Integrated Viticulture sites, departmental sites that collect the work of all faculty, or sites offering industry-wide information), authors who are involved with these sites are given permission to post their abstract, provided there is a link to the published paper on the AJEV website, or simply post a link to the article on the AJEV website. We do not grant permission to post full articles. The goal of such institutional sites is laudable—to offer the industry collections of topic-specific, relevant, timely research. However, when preselected and aggregated AJEV articles are freely available on a website, it works against AJEV in several ways. First, it functions as a new compilation of articles, essentially a “repackaging” of content that we have used our resources to publish. Second, it draws traffic from ajevonline, traffic that is essential in boosting our visibility. Third, it draws subscribers from the journal, the income from which is also essential to keeping our costs low for authors. And fourth, most essentially, it draws away loyal readers. Thus, while we certainly support the compilation of good research, we request links to ajevonline so folks can read the articles where they are originally published.

A complicating issue with sites that post AJEV articles (or any journal articles) can be with their own copyright statement. Many university and corporate sites state that the copyright of any site material lies with them and they may or may not grant permission for its reuse. For example, one site that contains journal articles from various sources “grants users permission to reproduce materials available therein for educational purposes.” This statement, and the relinquishing of such distribution, can be very problematic, as journals and other publishers may not have granted such authority over the distribution of their articles in the first place. Readers may then assume that they have been given permission to freely redistribute the content even further, not knowing they are in violation of the original copyright.

The journal has endeavored to develop a sustainable model of publication, particularly in a time when many areas of education and research have experienced decreased support. For our online publishing, we are working with HighWire, which is based out of the Stanford University library system. Unlike for-profit publishers, HighWire was developed as a response to the needs of researchers, educators, and library information systems. And unlike some of the larger for-profit publishers, which often charge $40.00 for individual articles, we charge $10.00 per article. We also make our annually awarded best papers available for free, knowing that these are particularly valuable and timely.

One area we have considered is open access publishing, where authors would pay a fee (typically $3000.00 in addition to any page fees and color figure charges) to have their articles available for free on ajevonline. However, given the decreased funding for many research projects, such a fee is not affordable for the majority of our authors and does not help them to maximize their funds for direct research. Thus, we have decided that our current subscription-fee model best supports the two goals of ongoing scientific research and sustainable journal publishing.

We hope this information helps clarify the online posting of AJEV articles, copyright policy, and the dynamics between research reporting and journal sustainability. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with anyone who wishes to do so.

Judith McKibben
AJEV Managing Editor

Linda F. Bisson
AJEV Science Editor