Accidental Exposure

Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Nov 12, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

After again being confronted by students angry that their dissertations are being sold on Amazon, ProQuest has announced that it will stop selling them on Amazon. It will still keep selling them, of course, just not in a place where students might accidentally find out. "We discovered that the language in the contract was not clear enough about the scope of the distribution,`said a VP at ProQuest. Yeah, right. The FAQ refers to it as "dissemination" and you have to read through three quarters of the document before you find the word "sell", and students have to "embargo" their work to prevent this. If they were being clear and honest they would put the word in the first paragraph and give students a way to opt out of commercial distribution while retaining non-commercial distribution.

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