Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, August 30, 2004

25 Nobel laureates support NIH OA plan

Dan Vergano, Scientists want research papers freely available, USA Today, August 29, 2004. Excerpt: "Twenty-five Nobel Prize-winning scientists today are calling for the government to make all taxpayer-funded research papers freely available. 'Science is the measure of the human race's progress,' scientists say in a letter to Congress and the National Institutes of Health. Signers include DNA co-discoverer James Watson and former National Institutes of Health chief Harold Varmus, a longtime supporter of open access. 'As scientists and taxpayers, too, we therefore object to barriers that hinder, delay or block the spread of scientific knowledge supported by federal tax dollars including our own works.'...'[Conventional journal publishing is] the biggest scam ever,' says letter-signer and 1993 Nobel Prize winner Richard Roberts. Taxpayers pay for researchers to prepare, review and edit manuscripts, he says, while scientific societies and large publishing firms reap the profits....Alan Leshner, chief of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which publishes Science magazine, says, 'I think all the problems are workable' for the free-access publishing plan. 'The question is how to do it so we can still pay our bills....The whole discussion of how we share research results is a very productive one,' Leshner says. 'Science is about communicating results to serve society.' " (PS: Later today I'll post the Nobelists' letter to SOAF and blog the URL and excerpts here.)