[GOAL] Fwd: Position on Public Access

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Tue Mar 27 12:40:22 BST 2012

Bravo to Mike Rossner for his position statement in favor of OA mandate
legislation. Everything he says is valid and true. 

(But it would be just as valid if it were said on behalf of the (far more realistic 
and demonstrable) need for "researcher access" as if it is said on behalf of 
the (rather more idealogical and less realistic) need for "public access" -- 
though the latter, I know, is much more  persuasive with MPs and voters, 
and that's what counts...)

That niggle nigged, let me repeat that Mike will be remembered and thanked
historically for having said -- forthrightly, and with no self-serving obfuscation --
what all publishers should have been saying about OA all along. 

Mike represents what is still honorable in the tradition of scholarly publishing.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Peter Suber <peter.suber at gmail.com>
> Date: March 26, 2012 8:47:46 PM EDT
> Subject: [BOAI] Position on Public Access
> [Forwarding from Mike Rossner at Rockefeller U Press, via Liblicense.  --Peter Suber.]
> From: Mike Rossner <rossner at mail.rockefeller.edu>
> Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 19:32:38 -0400
> For the reference of Liblicense readers, the following letter was just
> sent to all Rockefeller University Press subscribers:
> Dear Librarian,
> I am writing to clarify the position of The Rockefeller University
> Press (RUP) on various legislative efforts regarding public access to
> publications resulting from federally funded research.  RUP is a
> member of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the
> Association of American University Presses (AAUP), who have both
> recently provided position statements on this issue.  However, RUP
> does not agree with those statements.
> RUP is a subscription-based publisher that publishes three biomedical
> research journals: The Journal of Cell Biology, The Journal of
> Experimental Medicine, and The Journal of General Physiology.  We have
> released our back content to the public since 2001 – long before any
> federal mandates existed – because we believe we have an obligation to
> give something back to the public that funds the research we publish.
> The AAP supported the now-defunct Research Works Act.  RUP strongly
> opposed that act.
> Both the AAP and AAUP have opposed the Federal Research Public Access
> Act (FRPAA), which has been re-introduced into both the House and
> Senate. Although numerous non-profit publishers signed the AAP letter,
> the RUP does not stand with those publishers.  RUP supports FRPAA in
> principle.  We know from the NIH public access policy that mandated
> access to the results of federally-funded research is necessary to get
> certain publishers to release this content to the public, and we
> support legislation to extend the NIH policy to other large federal
> funding agencies.
> The AAP and AAUP use a one-size-does-not-fit-all argument to oppose
> FRPAA because the drafted legislation calls for all large federal
> agencies to mandate public access six months after publication.
> Although it can be argued that a six-month embargo period may not be
> suitable for all disciplines covered by FRPAA, this is not grounds to
> oppose the legislation altogether.  It should be supported in
> principle and could be modified during Congressional review to provide
> the flexibility for each agency to choose its own embargo period.
> The continuing rhetoric from the AAP and AAUP about having ongoing
> "conversations" about access to the results of publicly funded
> research is outdated.  There is legislation on the table that will
> help to make public access a reality now.
> Yours sincerely,
> Mike Rossner
> Executive Director
> These comments are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily
> reflect the position of The Rockefeller University.
> --      
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