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Many reasons for re-use

Posted by PLOSBiology on 07 May 2009 at 22:20 GMT

Author: Klaus Graf
Position: Dr
Institution: RWTH Aachen
Submitted Date: October 16, 2007
Published Date: October 17, 2007
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

There is a vivid discussion between Stevan Harnad, Peter Suber and Peter Murray-Rust about the re-use of Open Access contributions in their weblogs, see

Dr. MacCallum has shown in her article that the relevant definitions of "Open Access" clearly allow re-use and that PLoS' CC-BY license is the most appropriate way to keep the contributions "open".

For more arguments see e.g.

Although it is true that we "don't know yet what innovation means with regards to the full text of an article" there are some good reasons we can mention already today.

Mass media (which are falling under commercial use) can spread scientific knowledge and bring it to the citizen who needs it or are interested in it.

Wikimedia Foundation Board Member Erik Moeller has argued convincingly at
that CC-NC excludes the world of Wikimedia projects (e.g. Wikipedia or Wikibooks).

Dr. MacCallum has mentioned the possibility to make translations (which can give a chance for developing countries).

If derivative works are allowed data lists or the body of the article could be enriched by other scholars, e.g. in a wiki-like environment.

For data-mining see the position of Peter Murray-Rust quoted in the weblog entry above.

In 2004 Gass et al. have mentioned the LOCKSS projects as a reason for the re-use possibilities of the PLoS license choice at

I would like to see PLoS collecting more such arguments in the future.

Competing interests declared: I am an Open Access advocate.