Elsevier-Backed Publishing Bill Bites The Dust, At Least For This Session | The Moderate Voice

abernard102@gmail.com 2012-08-20


“Academics and researchers who support open access to research were able to take a (short) victory lap on Monday. Legislation [RWA] that would have prevented federal agencies from publishing publicly-funded research without the approval of the originating journal died after Dutch publishing giant Elsevier pulled its support... This boneheaded effort is the polar opposite of the tact being taken in Europe, where 19 research libraries are making 5 million digital objects freely accessible... In the most amazing example of flip-flopping that I’ve seen lately, the bill sponsors — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA, elected in 2000) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY, elected in 1992) — issued this statement (emphasis added): ‘As the costs of publishing continue to be driven down by new technology, we will continue to see a growth in open-access publishers. This new and innovative model appears to be the wave of the future… The American people deserve to have access to research for which they have paid. This conversation needs to continue, and we have come to the conclusion that the Research Works Act has exhausted the useful role it can play in the debate.’ Academics from around the world have been protesting: More than 7,400 researchers, including several in Canada, publicly declared they would not publish in Elsevier journals or peer review papers for those journals, or do editing work for them as part of a “Cost of Knowledge” boycott launched in January. The researchers normally provide those services for free to scieintific journal publishers. Others opposing the legislation: the American Library Association (ALA) and the Scholarly Publishingand Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)... At the same time that Elsevier backed off the federal legislation, it pledged to lower prices for mathematics scholars... Is the leopard changing spots or tossing the dog a bone?I think it’s the latter... We’re seeing yet another information industry, structured in a monopolistic or oligopolistic fashion, struggle with the destabilizing effect of Moore’s law and its cousins: every year, processing power gets cheaper, data storage gets cheaper, bandwidth gets cheaper. The fixed costs of the publishing system cannot be spread over a predictably comfortable number of printed units. Instead, every copy after the first one can be had (practically) for free (duplication costs – marginal costs – are approaching zero). That’s the nature of a public good, not a capitalistic one. I called this a short victory lap for a reason. This bill represents a skirmish in a long war that has no end in sight...”




08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » abernard102@gmail.com


oa.new oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.comment oa.libass oa.usa oa.legislation oa.rwa oa.nih oa.advocacy oa.signatures oa.petitions oa.boycotts oa.elsevier oa.libraries oa.sparc oa.prices oa.ala



Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 14:47

Date published:

02/29/2012, 20:10