Thank you OUP for not supporting PRISM

I am delighted to report the reply from Martin Richardson of OUP about PRISM:

  1. Martin Richardson Says:
    September 5th, 2007 at 3:41 pm eDear Professor Murray-RustIn your recent ‘Open Letter to Oxford University Press’, dated 2nd September 2007, you request ‘factual information from OUP about its involvement with PRISM and any support for its aims.’

    Oxford University Press is not part of the PRISM initiative, and we do not intend to become a signatory to the PRISM Principles.

    OUP is very active in several Open Access initiatives, all of which are extensively documented on our website ( Our approach has been to develop an evidence-based understanding of the implications of OA on scholarly research dissemination, and to share that with the wider community, and this is our preferred method of contributing to the OA debate.

    Yours sincerely

    Martin Richardson
    Managing Director, Oxford Journals

PMR: This is very good news from a major publisher with an early OA strategy.

We have now had several publishers distancing themselves from the PRISM initiative. Unfortunately the PRISM site is closely linked to AAP and so poorly constructed that it is impossible to separate membership of AAP from PRISM.

Publishers should realise that this association is a difficult one. There were a large number of publishers in the AAP's campaign to oppose s.2695:

New York, May 9, 2006 - Professional and scholarly publishers firmly oppose S.2695, the "Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006" introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT). The proposed legislation would require the majority of recipients of U.S. federal research agency funds to make their findings free within six months of publication. Publishers argue that the legislation, if passed, will seriously jeopardize the integrity of the scientific publishing process, and is a duplicative effort that places an unwarranted burden on research investigators.

According to the publishers, the provisions of S.2695 threaten to undermine the essential value of peer review by removing the publishers' incentive and ability to sustain investments in a range of scientific, technical, and medical publishing activities. The proposed legislation comes at a time when increased public access to government-funded research is already occurring in a voluntary and highly effectiv0? e manner through a variety of publisher-initiated mechanisms and cooperative approaches.

About the Association of American Publishers

(AAP)The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP's approximately 300 members include most of the major commercial book publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of intellectual freedom and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association's primary concerns.# # #

PMR: I try to be fair on this blog and know that the AAP and PRISM are not the same. However it is easy for casual observers to assume that an AAP opposition of S.2695 ("seriously jeopardize the integrity of the scientific publishing process") and a PRISM attack on the integrity of Open Access science are composed of the same community with the same motivations. It would make things much easier if the actual membership of PRISM were published - if it actually has one. Failing that publishers would save themselves from unnecessary confusion if they were to publicly state their non-affiliation as OUP and others have done.

After all, I am not the only one who can write letters... (and since this blog has a CC licence anyone can adapt the format of my letter(s) without my permission :-)).

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One Response to Thank you OUP for not supporting PRISM

  1. Pingback: Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics, Cambridge - petermr’s blog » Blog Archive » statement: why I wrote to Cambridge UP and Oxford UP

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