Paul L. Caron

Monday, September 25, 2006

Academic Leaders Oppose Open-Access Bill

S. 2695, sponsored by John Cornyn (R-TX) & Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) would require journal articles reporting taxpayer-financed research to be made freely available within six months of publication.  Washington, D.C. Principles for Free Access to Science has written a letter opposing the legislation:

The cost of peer review, copy editing, formatting, printing, online publication, search engine development, and permanent archiving ranges from $2,500 - $10,000 per article. At present, publishers cover these publication costs through the sale of subscriptions. A Federal policy mandating public access after six months would threaten the financial viability of many of these journals through the loss of subscription revenues, forcing them to identify other means to cover costs. One such means is to shift the costs to the scientists/authors. This is the business model currently used by the Public Library of Science, for example, which recently increased fees to $2,500 per manuscript....[S]ome studies have already shown that research intensive universities would have to pay considerably more to gain access to the same amount of research under an author- pays model than a subscription model.

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For the record, the "DC Principles" group at issue here is not composed of "academic leaders." The organization consists almost entirely of publishing industry insiders.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 26, 2006 8:05:01 AM