Some of the richest sources of chemical information are research group websites. Some time ago, I indexed primary literature PDFs from many such websites into the legacy (now non-existent) ChemRefer index.

I then received this correspondence from a major publisher. I submitted it to Chilling Effects to see what the various legal ins and outs of all of this meant.

Please read the letter and then the rest of this post.

It is worth pointing out here that the publisher may well have been right, but there is no way to confirm this since I am not (and should not be) able to access author-publisher contracts.

In any case, the result was that I stopped linking to research group website PDFs (the “just in case” approach). Was that the best course of action?  Comments welcome.

Stumble it!

2 Responses to ““Wiley asserts link liability” – ChillingEffects.org”

  1. Mitch says:

    Typically, the author can have a .pdf on their website, since they are using it as an educational resource. Technically, I think you were fine there. But, there is no way to know every author-publisher contract

  2. will says:

    Thanks Mitch. My guess is that publishers don’t contact the (allegedly) infringing research group websites since this would probably result in:

    1) The research group resenting the takedown notice, though likely co-operating
    2) Publishing any future research with a rival publisher

    I haven’t published the list of those Wiley say are posting articles illegally in case this is interpreted as accusing scientists of copyright infringement.

    In any case, the publisher hasn’t got what they wanted. Authors are still happily posting Wiley’s PDFs and the major scholarly search engines (at time of writing) are still indexing them (though they may not have been asked by Wiley to de-index).

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