Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More on PRISM

Rachel Deahl, AAP Tries to Keep Government Out of Science Publishing, Publishers Weekly, August 23, 2007.

To blunt the growing movement trying to force not-for-profit and commercial publishers to turn over published articles to the federal government for free online access, the AAP has launched a coalition called the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine (PRISM)....

PRISM members are concerned that if government becomes involved in the publication of scientific and scholarly work, changing the standard peer review process that has long been in place, the work could lose its integrity. As Dr. Brian Crawford, chairman of the AAP’s Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division explained, changing the peer review process could ultimately open the gates for “agenda-driven research and bad science.” ...


  • Deahl has adopted the PRISM message hook, line, and sinker.  Not a single one of the OA policies or proposals that PRISM opposes would force publishers to “turn over” their articles or change the methods of peer review.  Shouldn’t journalists notice and mention background facts like that?
  • For more detail, see my point by point rebuttal to PRISM’s disinformation.

Update.  Thanks to William Walsh for these reminders:

[Publishers Weekly], as you know, is owned by Reed Business, a division of Reed Elsevier. According to the Giles article [in Nature], employees of Reed Elsevier participated in discussions with Eric Dezenhall in which he advised them to equate peer review with traditional publishing and public access to censorship.

Speaking of Elsevier, I noticed that PRISM's "In the News" section features a statement by Representative John Conyers voicing his concerns over a mandatory NIH access policy. According to, Reed Elsevier, through its PAC, contributed $2,000 to his campaign during the 2006 election cycle. It also contributed $2,000 during the 2004 cycle and $1,000 during the 2002 cycle. Since Opensecret's data was last updated in June, I checked the Reed Elsevier Inc. PAC's 2007 mid-year report from the FEC. It lists a $500 contribution for the 2008 cycle....

(When journalists let us down, thank goodness there are bloggers.)

Update. Also see Bill Hooker's constructive letter to Rachel Deahl about her article.

Update. William Walsh has done some more digging:

The brief article by Daniel Griffin on PRISM today in IWR is nearly identical to the one from last week by Rachel Deahl that appeared in PW.

IWR is a publication of VNU Business, which is a division of Incisive Media.

Incisive Media is owned by Apax Partners, a private equity investment group which, along with OMERS Capital Partners, recently acquired Thomson Learning (now Cengage Learning).

Thomson Learning is still listed as a member of the AAP.