Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, January 26, 2007

More blogger comments on the AAP

Here's a new raft of blogger comments on the AAP's new PR campaign against OA

From Coturnix at A blog around the clock:

While the world is moving towards an Open Science model of exchange of scientific information, there are, as expected, forces that are trying to oppose it. Whenever there is a movement to change any kind of system, those most likely to lose will make a last-ditch and nasty effort to temporarily derail the progress. So, in this case, the Big Science Publishers have decided, instead of joining the new world of Open Science and using their brand names, their know-how and their infrastructure to become the leaders in the new system, and instead opted to go all mean and nasty....And since they have no healthy arguments to put forth, they will use the trickery with language in their efforts to slander the Open Source and Open Science organizations and online journals, taking their cues from the Frank Luntz textbook of Republican War On Meaning.

From Jim Downing at Coding trombonist:

I’m gobsmacked by [this story]. When I first read it on Peter Suber’s blog I assumed he was uncovering some misreporting and was going to conclude by commenting that making this kind of stuff up doesn’t help, but it seems to be the straight story. I felt defensive and a bit downcast at first, then I realised that this is great news. When your detractors resort to FUD you know you’re right, and you know you’re winning.

From Graham at Leftnews:

Dirty tricks in the science publishing field. It seems that the for profit journals are going to be using some dirty tricks to try to stop the open access movement (that is the movement that thinks the public should not have to pay to get access to research that it already paid for). The only way that science will continue to be free and open is if we get away from the monopoly that has been built by the restrictive copyright, for-profit publishing model.

From Andres Guadamuz at Technollama:

The twisted logic required to come up with the phrase "Public access equals government censorship" leaves me in uncomfortable awe. In some people's mind one can imagine that providing wider participation and access is wrong, but I truly cannot fathom the mental process which produces such line of thought....

From Iris at Pegasus Librarian:

Could this be a good sign? ...First of all, public access equals government censorship? What? I get it that traditional publishing models are the backbone of peer review. That's historically accurate, and I can understand the easy logical sidestep that would move this from "historically accurate" to "state of being."  Latching on to that argument is tactically smart because that's already what people worry about.  But pros and cons of the argument aside, I'm a little bit optimistic even in the face of this dirty move. If these big companies feel the need to sink money into a consulting firm to help them evade the growing threat of open access, then that means that OA is finally big enough to look like a threat.

From Michael Kenward at Michael Kenward:

The puzzling things is that the advice [AAP] got is so lame ["Public access equals government censorship"]....Other advice, that the opponents of open access should paint the move as some sort of communist plot, seems to come from someone completely out of touch with the scientific world. Scientists are notoriously non-conformist.

From Glyn Moody at Open...:

We know that as Microsoft has become more and more threatened by [open source], it has resorted to more and more desperate attempts to sow FUD.  Now comes this tremendous story from Nature that the traditional scientific publishing houses are contemplating doing the same to attack open access....This is a clear sign that we're in the end-game for open access's victory.

From Heather Morrison at Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics:

Leaving aside the questionable ethics of this tactic, and the sheer folly of attempting to consolidate one's position as the guardian of quality and integrity in academic communications through a campaign of deliberate misinterpretation - what might the publishing industry accomplish simply by redirecting funds from fighting open access - to implementing open access.  By my reckoning, this one expenditure alone would be sufficient for hosting and support services for a year for 785 open access journals. If Elsevier were to redirect funds from their U.S. lobbying efforts alone to open access publishing, this would be enough for hosting and support for over 3,000 open access journals - more than Elsevier currently publishes! ...

From Pam Ryan at

I can’t imagine any of the academics I know willingly supporting / falling for this slickster, big-business, fear-mongering approach to where and how to publish. Hopefully the OA’ers can...expose what, and who, is influencing the directions taken by the big players in commercial scholarly publishing. Despite this, I still haven’t given up hope that good/right will prevail and we’ll find workable, collaborative solutions to make research available to all....

From Dorothea Salo at Caveat Lector:

I think [this is] the action of a terrified group of amoral scumbags who see the future rushing in and will do whatever they can think of to stop it. I think it’s the action of a terrified group of amoral scumbags completely bankrupt of actual insight or innovation and utterly desperate to keep their current unjustifiable profit margins....If I were a scholarly publisher, I would distance myself from this fiasco far, fast, and publicly… and if my rep on the AAP had been involved in any way other than “vigorous opposition,” that rep would be fired immediately —not just from representing the publisher to the AAP, but altogether. Elsevier, Wiley, ACS, and (it would appear) others have a lot of explaining to do....