Thursday, January 12, 2012

Research Works Act - seriously?

I am not a fan of the academic publishing industry, and have written before on the need for more openness in the publishing process. My position is very simple: it is not ethical for taxpayers to be forced to buy access to scientific articles whose research was funded by the taxpayer.

I am very dismayed at the introduction of the Research Works Act, a piece of legislation designed to end the NIH Open Access policy and other future openness initiatives.

Sigh... even in academic publishing, we're socializing the risks and privatizing the gains. Here, I agree completely with Michael Eisen's statement in the New York Times:
 "But the latest effort to overturn the N.I.H.’s public access policy should dispel any remaining illusions that commercial publishers are serving the interests of the scientific community and public."

As this bill was written by representatives taking money from the publishing industry, perhaps we should include lawmakers in that group as well.

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