Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More on the ARL critique of PRISM

Andrew Albanese, ARL Challenges Publishers' PR Campaign Against Open Access Legislation, Library Journal, September 12, 2007.  Excerpt:

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has issued a statement criticizing a new initiative in what it called an "ongoing PR campaign" against public access legislation, supported by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). ARL officials said the latest effort, dubbed PRISM (Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine), "frequently distorts the nature of ongoing and substantive discussions about open access and public access to federally funded research."

The PRISM web site argues that public access efforts will undermine peer review and harm journal publishers; will open the door to "scientific censorship in the form of selective additions to or omissions from the scientific record"; subject the scientific record to "the uncertainty that comes with changing federal budget priorities and bureaucratic meddling"; and will introduce "duplication and inefficiencies that will divert resources that would otherwise be dedicated to research."

ARL officials noted that the PRISM arguments closely follow the advice of PR "pit bull" Eric Dezenhall, whom publishers consulted in the last year to develop a strategy for fighting public access legislation. Nature first reported publishers' plans to launch their PR campaign in January of 2007. ARL officials said the PR campaign offers libraries and researchers an opportunity to engage the campus community "concerning the changes to the scholarly communication" and provides a memo with talking points it hopes will help guide that discussion. OA public access supporters have already hit the blogs, both dissecting PRISM's arguments and expressing their displeasure over the coalition's tactics.