Working the seams

June 15, 2017

Your article “EU set to ease rules on text and data mining” (News, 25 May) fails to acknowledge the work that publishers are undertaking to not only facilitate text and data mining but also to ensure that the researchers’ experience is a good one.

First, publishers across Europe are working with European legislators on a new Europe-wide exception to copyright to ensure that researchers can take full advantage of text and data mining technology. It is, however, very important that the beneficiaries of this exception are limited to public interest research organisations, and it is disappointing that this is not supported by Science Europe, which represents research organisations. Surely Marie Timmermann, the group’s EU legislation and regulatory affairs officer, does not think that the likes of Google, multinational pharmaceutical companies and hedge funds should have a free ride and not be required to negotiate a licence with publishers?

Second, publishers are working with not-for-profit services such as Crossref and PLSclear TDM that exist to facilitate text and data mining and to enhance the researcher experience. Crossref allows researchers to mine content across multiple publisher platforms simultaneously, while PLSclear TDM gives researchers the confidence that their requests are being sent to the right person.

Third, publishers are increasingly including permission to mine text and data in the licences that they sign with researchers, meaning that more material than ever can be accessed and explored and connections can made even in the absence of an exception.

All these points show the publishing community to be an active partner to the research community in facilitating text and data mining.

Stephen Lotinga
Chief executive
The Publishers Association

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