ESP Legal Notifications: Intellectual Property
This policy was last updated 7 Jul 2017.
The ESP.ORG website is operated by The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project as a non-profit service to the scientific community and for the general public.
The ESP Project respects the intellectual property of others, and we believe that all of the content on our pages has been used appropriately, either because
a. the content was created originally for this site,
b. permission has been granted for the use on this site,
c. the material is in the public domain, or
d. the use is permitted under the Fair Use doctrine of copyright law.
If you believe that some material on this site is your intellectual property and that your work has been used or copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, or that your intellectual property rights have been otherwise violated, please CONTACT US and provide the following information:
1. an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright or other intellectual property interest;
2. a description of the copyrighted work or other intellectual property that you claim has been infringed;
3. a description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the ESP.ORG site or system, with enough detail so that we may find it;
4. your address, telephone number, and email address;
5. a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright or intellectual property owner, its agent, or the law;
6. a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright or intellectual property owner or authorized to act on the copyright or intellectual property owner's behalf.
Upon receipt of a notice of claim regarding an intellectual property violation, we will respond as quickly as possible. Please be advised, however, that The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project is staffed only by volunteer labor. There are no paid staff associated with the project or with the design, operation, and maintenance of the ESP.ORG website.
In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.
Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.
In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.
When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.
Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.
With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.
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