Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More comments on PRISM

I don’t plan to collect all the blog comments on PRISM, or even all the good ones.  There are too many!  But here are some notable ones since yesterday:

From Shelley Batts:

PRISM's issue is this: if more and more research is made open access (ie, free) how will traditional publishers make any money? The concern is legitimate, but the hoopla, rhetoric, and obfuscation shown on their website suggests that they would rather bend the facts to create a non-issue (that peer review is under attack) rather than face a more real, but less sympathetic issue (how to keep making money). Their main beef seems to be the nebulous threat of "government interference," specifically that the government would like open access to the research that, ya know, it pays for. GASP.

This is bothersome, because I think that a real conversation could be had between 'old school' publishers and open-access publishers without running to a slick PR firm. It seems that the Association of American Publishers would rather the issue be weighed in the court of mis-informed public opinion rather than in the light of day, where both monetary concerns can be considered along with what is paramount to the scientific endeavor.

From Neurotopia:

I have little doubt that the publishing industry feels rather threatened by PLoS and other open access journals, which obviously not suffer one whit from open access policies initiated by the federal government. But why actually expect corporate cronyism to care about the public interest....

And god forbid we have priorities that include the public good at the expense of that bottom line. There's a lesson to be learned here: if you have an ideological difference of opinion, fine, just say so. But don't go spreading falsehoods just to convince others that your ideology is the correct one. It just makes you look intellectually bankrupt.

From Random Walker:

It that seems a group running by the rather Orwellian sounding name PRISM (“Partnerships for Research in Science and Medicine”)...are busy doing all they can to try to lock up academic publication....

Remove the perverse incentives to publish in restrictive publications and the vast majority of quality content will soon move exclusively to open platforms....

From Tom Wilson:

Here's my message to the UCU [University and College Union]....

The most recent development is the establishment in the USA of 'PRISM', the somewhat (and deliberately) misleading "Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine". In spite of its title, this is, in fact a lobby group for the publishing industry and, no doubt it will seek to extend its activities in some way or other to the UK....

What is the UCU intending to do to counteract the highly misleading propositions put forward on the PRISM Web page? ...

From Alex Palazzo:

...PRISM claims to have support from

scientific, medical and other scholarly researchers who advance the cause of knowledge; the institutions that encourage and support them; the publishers who disseminate, archive and ensure the quality control of this research; and the physicians, clinicians, engineers and other intellectual pioneers who put knowledge into action.

Like who exactly? If PRISM wants to be a credible organization they should name their supporters. But they won't because it'll mostly be the scientific publishers.