BioOne (www.bioone.org) is pleased to announce the release of a model publication agreement that addresses current trends in copyright assignment and requirements by NIH and other funding agencies for digital repository deposits. While the Agreement was developed at the request of several BioOne publishers, it may be of interest to any scholarly publishing organization that is seeking a clear, concise, and legally vetted publication agreement.
In March 2007, the legal firm Morrison & Foerster LLC (www.mofo.com) generously agreed to provide pro bono legal assistance to BioOne in drafting a Model Publication Agreement. Ms. Pamela Pasti, Of Counsel in the Technology Transactions Group of Morrison & Foerster’s San Francisco office, was assigned to the project. Over the course of the following year, Ms. Pasti worked with BioOne to review existing publication agreements, notable author’s addenda, and articles describing emerging trends in copyright law as it relates to academic publishing.
The resulting agreement allows author(s) to retain copyright, while granting the publisher both a temporally limited and exclusive right to first publish, and a perpetual, non-exclusive right to publish, distribute, and sublicense. In response to NIH’s Public Access Policy (passed by Congress in December 2007) and other institutional and subject repository deposit mandates, the Agreement allows authors to deposit their work in digital repositories directly, or permits the publisher to deposit to the National Library of Medicine on their behalf.
“The BioOne Model Author Agreement reflects over a year of work for all involved in this important project,” said Mark Kurtz, BioOne Director of Business Development. “From the onset, we felt strongly that BioOne was in a unique position as a collaborative publishing endeavor to draft an equitable agreement. Still, this project would not have been possible without the legal guidance of Morrison & Foerster, and the invaluable feedback garnered from the publisher and library community.”
The final Agreement is freely available on the BioOne website at www.bioone.org. An accompanying “roadmap” is also available to provide publishers adopting the Agreement with guidance on specific author and publisher rights and amendable sections.