Michael Eisen works in gene regulation and is a co-founder of the world-changing Open publisher PloS. Like many of us he strongly opposes the proposed US bills HR.3699 and RWA which will forbid public funders to require that published research is Open. Here’s his article in the NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/opinion/research-bought-then-paid-for.html Take a minute to read it.
And here is his blog:
the US National Institutes of Health instituted a Public Access Policy:
The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.
The policy has provided access for physicians and their patients, teachers and their students, policymakers and the public to hundreds of thousands of taxpayer-funded studies that would otherwise have been locked behind expensive publisher paywalls, accessible only to a small fraction of researchers at elite and wealthy universities.
The policy has been popular – especially among disease and patient advocacy groups fighting to empower the people they represent to make wise healthcare decision, and teachers educating the next generation of researchers and caregivers.
But the policy has been quite unpopular with a powerful publishing cartels that are hellbent on denying US taxpayers access to and benefits from research they paid to produce. This industry already makes generous profits charging universities and hospitals for access to the biomedical research journals they publish. But unsatisfied with feeding at the public trough only once (the vast majority of the estimated $10 billion dollar revenue of biomedical publishers already comes from public funds), they are seeking to squeeze cancer patients and high school students for an additional $25 every time they want to read about the latest work of America’s scientists.
The publishers have written their case in deliberately misleading language – their “private sector” means anyone who isn’t a government employee
The term `private-sector research work’ means an article intended to be published in a scholarly or scientific publication, or any version of such an article, that is not a work of the United States Government (as defined in section 101 of title 17, United States Code), describing or interpreting research funded in whole or in part by a Federal agency and to which a commercial or nonprofit publisher has made or has entered into an arrangement to make a value-added contribution, including peer review or editing. Such term does not include progress reports or raw data outputs routinely required to be created for and submitted directly to a funding agency in the course of research.
They are using intentionally misleading language to distinguish works funded by the government but carried out by a non-governmental agency as “private sector research”. Thus, under this bill, works funded by the NIH but carried at a University would be “private sector research”.
** WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO REGISTER MASS OPPOSITION TO THESE BILLS? The OA community doesn’t seem to be lobbying for support – at least not at high visibility. We have to become activists. Our freedoms – and we don’t have enough of them – are being taken away. When I tweeted a request for action no one answered.
I need a simple site where I can point people at and they can take 5 mins to protest.