Monday, May 04, 2009

Thesis and copyright transfer

My thesis was released slightly over a year ago in print form. The electronic form has not yet, which has social and legal barriers. Like many before me, I made the mistake to publish in journals that require me to reassign copyright. Combine that with the custom to publish papers in your thesis as is, which means reduction of work for the manuscript committee, as they can know which chapters have undergone peer-review in the form they are present in the thesis too. (The layout is different, as I integrated them into the thesis design.)

So, my thesis has six chapters which I cannot redistribute. I am still happy having published in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling (formerly JCICS), and still review papers for that journal; it still is the main forum in cheminformatics, but recently challenged.

I have come to the conclusion that copyright transfer will not be my author choice in the future, and the ACS AuthorChoice still seems to require copyright transfer, if I do not misunderstand the legal talk.

So, if you like a copy of those six chapters, send me an email requesting the a print copy of my thesis from my defense (I still have a few around). (Alternatively, donate to my project to make these chapters AuthorChoice, but the ACS charges quite some money, and Google Adsense is not compensating for that quite yet.)


  1. Egon,

    This post made me think back to some email exchanges I had a few years ago with a Dr Jack Van Horrsen in Amsterdam.

    After making contact with him, he sent me an CD-R with a number of his published Papers, but he also pointed me to his full Thesis which is online:-

    This directly led to substantial amount of increased understanding of the subject matter and making contact with a number of key researchers in that field.

  2. For me there were these aspects:

    1. the copyright for my papers was assigned to the ACS
    2. the papers are verbatim (though not in the journal formatting) in the thesis, to simplify the work of the manuscript committee
    3. Radboud University requires me to say that I own copyright over my full thesis
    4. Radboud University does not allow partial thesis

    So, my thesis is not in the institutional repository, sadly enough.

    I have looked at getting funding to make my papers Open Choice retrospectively, but did not found such funding yet.