Why Oh Why Did this have to be a food science journal?

Shelley Batts, Retrospectacle, wrote a an interesting post on the effect of alcohol and antioxidant levels. Her article was based on original research also reported by the BBC.

Great, I thought, one for my Food Fables post.

Then the Journal for the Science of Food and Agriculture decided that she was not allowed to use copies of figures from the articles as this constituted breaking copyright. They also refused her permission to use them when she asked for it. Shelley reported this to the science blogging community and asked that we write a protest as her usage was clearly in the realms of fair use. What is fair use? The US copyright Act, (Title 17, US code) states:

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

If Shelley’s article does not fit in with all of those definitions, I don’t know what does. It is a case of giant attacking a weaker party. So we science bloggers have decided to rally behind our “David” and tell them that this won’t do.

I am particularly disappointed because it is a food science journal. I spend my time advocating strongly that we need to inform the public more about the science behind our food supply. That is one of the reasons I keep plugging away at this blog. How are we going to truly inform any one about food science if one of the sources of primary literature does not like us sharing their articles with the public.


Keep writing about food science everyone. Actually, some one said we should stop referring to Wiley publications, but I think we should all pick an article from a Wiley publication and write about it. Make sure to include a figure and/or table of data. That way we can disseminate science and tell Wiley they are wrong, wrong, wrong.


The issue is now resolved.  Shelley can post the pictures.


One thought on “Why Oh Why Did this have to be a food science journal?

  1. That is actually not a bad idea but it would give them too much good publicity that at the moment I don’t think they deserve. I don’t think that we should boycott Wiley because the authors that publish there did nothing to deserve it. Speaking about this issue and emailing the journal editor/publishers should hopefully make them realize this was a bad idea.

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