September 26, 2007

AAP misinformation campaign on public access: the library community's rebuttal

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has released a web site that willfully promotes myths about legislation requiring public access to federally funded research. It is called PRISM (Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine).

In response, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released an issue brief that corrects the record. Among its key points:

  • Peer review is already built into open access journals and to policies concerning access to federally funded research, thus showing the fallacy of the predicted demise of peer review.
  • Public access to federally funded research policies proposed to date have all incorporated embargo periods to protect publishers from any rapid shifts in subscription revenues. Furthermore, no existing or proposed policy has extended beyond authors’ works that are directly funded in some way with government dollars.
  • Researchers themselves write and peer review the articles without receiving any payment from publishers. [...] Existing and proposed policies concerning public access to federally funded research attempt to create balance between the contributions made and benefits received by publishers and allow them to continue to profit tremendously from the pool of content this funded research generates.
  • Deposit of articles into an archive does not equate with government censorship. Quite the contrary -- Two key drivers of the [current] NIH policy are to make these federally funded research results widely available and to hold government accountable.

In fact, several AAP members have broken ranks with the association to voice their displeasure with the scare tactic. They include Cambridge University Press, Columbia University Press, University of Chicago Press, and Nature Publishing Group. See Jennifer Howard’s 9-21-07 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, "Publishers' PR Tactic Angers University Presses and Open-Access Advocates."

Posted by stemp003 at September 26, 2007 3:26 PM
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