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Thank goodness the buzz in support of the NIH policy and opposing the Conyers bill is on the rise. Most of the buzz I've seen is based on good understanding. However, two objections to the bill miss the target:
I point these out because we don't make justified headway against a bad idea by shooting at different bad ideas. Let's not make it easy for the bill's supporters to say that the critics simply don't understand.
It's still possible to use some shorthand for convenience. The Conyers bill would repeal the OA mandate at the NIH (not OA itself, and not OA journals), and block similar mandates at other federal agencies. Or, the bill would repeal the NIH policy to require deposit in an OA repository.
For more detail on the bill, including the NIH method for providing OA without copyright infringement, see my article from October 2008, when Conyers first introduced the bill. For details on how the political circumstances have changed since then, see my article from last week.
Update (3/7/09). Also see Stevan Harnad's similar corrective, Conyers Bill H.R. 801 Has Nothing to Do With Open-Access Journals, and his March 8 follow-up.
Update (3/8/09). Also see Jan Velterop's comment on my post.