I’m never shocked by what Issa can do in a never-ending downward spiral of serving business interests, but it’s sad that NY rep Carolyn Maloney has joined him backing a bill to sell out science. Once again the publishers are trying to destroy public access, and make everyone pay to read science you’ve already paid for with your taxes.

The Research Works Act reads:

No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that–

(1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work; or

(2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the employer of such an actual or prospective author, assent to network dissemination of a private-sector research work.

This really should be a settled issue but the publishers won’t let it go. They are allowed to limit access for a time to make profit for publishing research, but in the end, we’re talking about taxpayer funded research here. In the end, taxpayers should be able to read the results without paying again. It’s good for science too, especially internationally, because not every library can afford subscriptions to every journal in the universe. Open access will allow research to be more rapidly disseminated around the world.

And what did it take to make Carolyn Maloney back the publishers over the public and advance this bill? About $9000 in donations from publishers (Issa only needed about $2000). It’s pathetic how cheap it is to get a member of congress to vote for an industry over the public.

Here’s her email page if you want to send her a nasty-gram. Tell her to change position on H.R.3699 the “Research Works Act”.

h/t it’s not junk

Comments

  1. #1 Stevan Harnad
    January 7, 2012

    “Research Works Act H.R.3699: The Private Publishing Tail Trying To Wag The Public Research Dog, Yet Again”

    http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/867-guid.html

    EXCERPT:

    The US Research Works Act (H.R.3699):

    “No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that — (1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work; or (2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the employer of such an actual or prospective author, assent to network dissemination of a private-sector research work.”

    Translation and Comments:

    “If public tax money is used to fund research, that research becomes “private research” once a publisher “adds value” to it by managing the peer review.”

    [Comment: Researchers do the peer review for the publisher for free, just as researchers give their papers to the publisher for free, together with the exclusive right to sell subscriptions to it, on-paper and online, seeking and receiving no fee or royalty in return].

    “Since that public research has thereby been transformed into “private research,” and the publisher’s property, the government that funded it with public tax money should not be allowed to require the funded author to make it accessible for free online for those users who cannot afford subscription access.”

    [Comment: The author's sole purpose in doing and publishing the research, without seeking any fee or royalties, is so that all potential users can access, use and build upon it, in further research and applications, to the benefit of the public that funded it; this is also the sole purpose for which public tax money is used to fund research.]”

    H.R. 3699 misunderstands the secondary, service role that peer-reviewed research journal publishing plays in US research and development and its (public) funding….

    http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/867-guid.html

  2. #2 Ben
    January 12, 2012

    Please help us organize the fight to retain public access by joining and sharing our Facebook community: http://www.facebook.com/ResearchWorksAct

    We are students and postdocs in Carolyn Maloney’s district, which encompasses Weill-Cornell, Memorial Sloan-Ketting Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, NYU Medical Center, Mt. Sinai Medical School, and Hunter College. Help us spread the word to pressure her to kill the bill.

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