Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, February 12, 2007

This week's EC-hosted conference on scientific publishing

Mark Chillingworth, Scientific publishing conference, will it be war or peace pact?  Information World Review blog, February 12, 2007. 

A scientific publishing conference taking place this week couldn't come at a better time as the scientific information community teeters on the brink of all out war. At no time before has the open access publishing debate been so truculent. The decision to hire a PR attack dog has not been welcomed

Scientific Publishing in the European Research Area kicks off on Thursday 15 February in Brussels. All the key players from publishing and the open access movement are in attendance, including Nick Fowlers, Director of Strategy for publishing giants Elsevier, Robert Kiley, Head of E-Strategy at the Wellcome Trust, the funding body that is very pro-Open Access, Blackwell boss Bob Campbell and Ian Russell, the CEO of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP).

The conference will be opened by Janez Potocnik, EU Commissioner for Science and Research, whilst the closing speech will be by Viviane Reding, the Commissioner for Information Society and Media.

Discussions will include challenges and opportunities facing scientific publishing, new opportunities for the research community, business models and policy options.

Jan Velterop, open access champion at major STM publisher Springer is attending, but is worried that the scientific information is being divided into distinct camps and on a collision course towards war. "I hope this conference can be constructive," he said, "Sadly there is not enough desire by either side to actually get together and solve the problems of scientific information, which is a pity."

Some believe the conference will focus on the news in recent weeks that the Association of American Publishers (AAP) along with its members Elsevier and John Wiley & Sons has hired a notorious PR attack expert to rubbish the claims of open access supporters. "It is not very helpful, it is drawing this into a battle, when a constructive dialog would be better for everyone," Velterop said.