statement: why I wrote to Cambridge UP and Oxford UP

I received two emails today – independently – from press organizations / topical publications along the lines of
“I am writing an article about AAP/PRISM and would like to know why you oppose it and wrote to CUP”. As I am away – at UK eScience AllHands – and not always in phone contact I have prepared a simple statement for the press and others from which anyone can quote.
The most definitive criticism of PRISM is to be found on Peter Suber’s blog where the arguments are very carefully laid out.
I subscribe to everything Peter has said – he takes great care both to be accurate and comprehensive. I would strongly suggest you read his comments – if you haven’t already done so. Most of what has been written since is either comments from others, or collations of these comments. There is clearly great concern in the community about PRISM, and there has been essentially no traffic defending it. (If there had been Peter Suber and others would have reported it – we try hard to be objective). Certainly I have seen no attempt to challenge Peter Suber’s many points.
My particular concern is that is unclear exactly who PRISM are. They are an initiative of the AAP but, I suspect, not synonymous nor with identical memberships. (You may remember that last year ca 66 members of AAP signed a letter opposing the US government’s S.2695 initiative [on Open Access to federally funded research] and it is possible that there is signatories overlap between these signatories and PRISM – but this is speculation). In engaging in debate – which has so far been unilateral – it is important to find spokespeople for all points of view. There was a suspicion that not all members of the AAP backed PRISM and indeed some started to make public pronouncements distancing themselves from PRISM. I therefore thought it would be useful to find enlightenment by writing to those AAP members with whom I had some connection and might legitimately be given a hearing. I chose Cambridge University Press – being a member of staff in Cambridge – and also OUP where I graduated and am therefore a member.
I have yet to hear from Cambridge, but got an almost immediate reply from OUP distancing themselves. You can read this on:
In this post I also expand on my reasons for suggesting that members of AAP may, by default, become associated with support of PRISM and they may wish to consider if this is what they want.
In summary, therefore, this is a first step to find out who is and who is not a member of, or supporter of, PRISM so that we are better able to directly bring the challenges that Peter Suber has set out to their direct view.
Today we gather that PRISM has responded by saying that they will publish a membership list some time in the future. In the interim it will still be useful to try to find out the positions of particular members.

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