A while back I posted a rant about doing a lit search and coming across an EBSCO page that failed to explicitly point to a journal’s wide open CC license. I was a bit uncomfortable doing so since I felt like maybe I was missing a piece of the copyright/open access puzzle, but it generated a favourable action-oriented response from EBSCO and a few librarians chimed in as well encouraging me that I wasn’t completely crazy with my expectations.
To recap – in case you don’t want to click on the link above – EBSCO’s initial response to my rant was this:
Per your request, I have submitted an Enhancement Request with our Content Team to have the CC License display within the Copyright information.
About a week ago, I received this response from EBSCO:
I hope you are having a lovely day.
In regards to your inquiry to have the Copyright Information display the Creative Commons License.
EBSCO holds a license for the content with the publisher, Governors of Athabasca University. We followed the publisher’s lead as to how they wanted to handle the copyright statement. Any change would have to be requested by the publisher.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
My first reaction to this was “Huh??…”. But I let it go, because how am I to know the politics that may have lead the Governors of Athabasca to basically lock down their open journal by EBSCO proxy if that is indeed the case.
But here I am again, searching around on Google Scholar and clicking on this link that that takes me to an EBSCO page that denies me entry to yet another IRRODL article. There is no way to get to the article that I should have access to as a CC BY licensed journal. In fact clicking on the Login link does nothing to indicate that I should even have access unless I have the privilege of belonging to an institution that subscribes to this esteemed service.
I get that EBSCO probably lawyered up and is doing what was agreed to by the parties involved. I get that Athabasca no doubt agreed to whatever terms and legalese within a CC BY license. But I’m disappointed as a user and academic that the spirit of CC BY and open access journals isn’t being respected and I think that matters.