Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, August 25, 2005

More on ACS v. PubChem

The American Chemical Society has sent a letter to its members about its quarrel with PubChem, the open-access database from the NIH. Unfortunately the ACS has turned off cutting and pasting in its PDF, and I don't have time right now to rekey essential passages. But at least the full text is free online for reading. The gist is that in its negotiations with the NIH, the ACS has offered to launch a free online chemical database. ACS would contribute 15 staffers and $10 million over five years toward the project. The letter does not say what ACS would expect in return (e.g. truncation or elimination of PubChem), but does say that the NIH rejected the proposal. Clearly ACS members and the rest of us need to hear more about the proposal and NIH's grounds for refusing it before we can evaluate either side's position.

Update. The NIH has publicly released Elias Zerhouni's August 22 letter to the ACS, explaining the NIH's reasons for rejecting the ACS offer.