Suboptimal/missing Open Licences by Wiley and Royal Society


Well Wiley has just proudly announced its first Open Access Journals They’re not cheap for author-side fees (Brain and Behaviour == 2500 USD – higher than the others – presumably it’s easier to tap brain researchers for money).

What has upset me is that the licence is CC-NC. No commercial use.

Now I’ll be very generous and assume that Wiley isn’t aware of the real problems of CC-NC. If they aren’t they should read my blog post:

which also points to definitive sources.

CC-NC is apparently attractive, but actually completely restrictive for anything I want to do.

  • The material cannot be used for teaching as that can be construed as commercial (especially in private universities)
  • It cannot be put on web-pages which carry adverts
  • It cannot be used for text- or data-mining which is openly published because a commercial company might read my paper or website and use it
  • All derivative works must carry CC-NC
  • And worst of all it violates the Budapest Open Access Declaration (and the Open Definition)

I doubt VERY much whether it is the intention of the AUTHORS to forbid commercial use of their material. Effectively they would be saying

“I don’t want a manufacturer of medical equipment to use any pictures from Brain and Behaviour without paying WILEY money” (remember dear reader that the AUTHOR gets nothing.”

So, Wiley, I am in a good mood and assume this was a mistake. It would be very nice if you were able to respond to this post (you WILL read it, I know).

There’s a similar case at the Royal Society. Now they already publish Open Biology under CC-BY 3.0 so they know about licences. They’ve recently made all their historical content FREE, which is absolutely stunning ( ), but there is no explicit licence. I have also heard that there are actually still paywalls in place for this material.

Please, Royal Society, tell us you simply forgot to add CC-BY on the splash pages and the articles. Because then we can use them for teaching, etc. with a clear legal conscience.

And we can then do some exciting things with the Bibliography!