On August 26, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Nature Publishing Group and the University of California plan to resume negotiations for access to Nature's suite of scholarly journals.
Rich Schneider, an associate professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at the University of California at San Francisco, leads the University of California's Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication. An interview with Schneider suggested that it was not a lack of support for a possible boycott that had brought the university back to the negotiating table.
"We had tremendous support from the faculty," he said of the university's decision to challenge the publisher. "We had hundreds of letters of support."
The Chronicle asked whether a boycott was no longer a possiblity. "Nothing's off the table at this point," Schneider said. "But everybody's really optimistic."
Excerpted from SPARC's August 4 press release:
Delivering timely, open, online access to the results of federally funded research in the United States will significantly increase the return on the public's investment in science, according to a new study by John Houghton at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University. The study, "The Economic and Social Returns on Investment in Open Archiving Publicly Funded Research Outputs," co-authored by Bruce Rasmussen and Peter Sheehan, was released today by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).
The new study examines the effect of key variables that influence the potential return on investment from this research. These variables concern both access to research - including content embargoes - and the efficiency with which research is applied in practice. The study also defines the additional data and model developments necessary for an accurate estimate of the policy's likely impact.
Depending on the assumed cost of data repositories, the study's preliminary models suggest that FRPAA's enactment could lead to a return on the public's investment of between four and 24 times the costs. Two thirds of this return would accrue within the United States, with the remainder spilling over to other countries. In the U.S., the study suggests that the benefits of public access might total between three and 16 times the cost of the public's investment.
The study closely examines the model's sensitivity to critical assumptions and concludes that the benefits of public access would exceed the costs over a wide range of values. As the study's authors note, "[I]t is difficult to imagine any plausible values for the input data and model parameters that would lead to a fundamentally different answer."
The full text of the study is available at:
On Thursday, July 29, the U.S. House of Representative's Information Policy, Census, and National Archives Subcommittee held a hearing entitled, "Public Access to Federally-Funded Research." The hearing reviewed the current state of public access to federally-funded research in science, technology and medicine. The hearing provided an opportunity to assess the issues surrounding public access policies, including the impact of increasing public access on scientists, physicians, and researchers.
Vice President, Government Affairs
Association of American Publishers
Dr. Steven Breckler
Executive Director for Science
American Psychological Association
Professor Ralph Oman
Pravel Professorial Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law Fellow
Creative and Innovative Economy Center
The George Washington University Law School
Dr. Richard Roberts
Chief Scientific Officer
New England Biolabs
Project Director, Digital Connections Council
Committee for Economic Development
Dr. Sophia Colamarino
Vice President, Research
Dr. David Shulenburger
Vice President, Academic Affairs
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
Public Library of Science Community Journals
Dr. David Lipman
Director, NCBI, NLM
National Institutes of Health