Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Association of Research Libraries on PRISM

AAP PR Campaign against Open Access and Public Access to Federally Funded Research: Update re the PRISM Coalition, an ARL issue brief, September 5, 2007.  This is an update to ARL’s issue brief from January 2007 on the AAP’s Dezenhall hire.  Excerpt: 

A new initiative has been announced in an ongoing public relations campaign sponsored by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) against initiatives concerning access to federally funded research (public access) and open access generally. PRISM (Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine), a new coalition, is attracting substantial criticism from a broad spectrum of researchers. The PRISM message corresponds directly to plans described in internal publisher documents leaked to reporters to “develop simple messages (e.g., public access equals government censorship)” that are aimed at key decision makers.

As news of this initiative evolves, it presents an opportunity to engage in conversations with members of your campus community concerning the changes to the scholarly communication system and how this may affect scholarly journal publishing. This memo provides talking points to assist you and your staff in working with members of your campus community with regards to the recently disclosed publishers public relations campaign against open/public access initiatives and legislation concerning access to federally funded research....

[N]either public access policies to federally funded research or open access journals alter the traditional practice of peer review.

  • Peer review is already built into open access journals and to policies concerning access to federally funded research thus showing the fallacy of the predicted demise of peer review.
  • The peer review system, based almost completely on the voluntary free labor of the research community, is independent of a particular mode of publishing, or business model.
  • Publishers’ own studies have found that open access journals are peer reviewed as frequently as comparable subscription journals.
  • The existing National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy and legislation concerning access to federally funded research called for submissions from only peer-reviewed journals and “includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.”
  • Finally, journal publishers do not create the content they publish, nor do they generally pay authors for that content or compensate reviewers for the time they spend ensuring the quality of published research through their contributions to the peer review process. The academy supports and provides the peer review.
  • Public access to federally funded research policies proposed to date have all incorporated embargo periods to protect publishers from any rapid shifts in subscription revenues....

Update. Also see the brief story on the ARL issue brief in Library Journal Academic Newswire for September 6, 2007.

Update. There is now a Slashdot thread on the ARL issue brief.