Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

More on PRISM

Here are a few more recent observations from around the web.

From David Sewell in a comment at Effect Measure:

I'm part of a university press, though not one that's an AAP-PSP member. The other day I posted a negative reaction to the PRISM website on the main email list used by the North American university press community and can confirm based on offline responses I got that I'm not alone in being upset.

The fact is that the PRISM lobbying effort was authorized by a majority decision of an executive council consisting of a small subset of all the publishers who are AAP members. Mike Rossner's request for a disclaimer is reasonable. It should be supplemented by an opt-in list of individuals and organizations who explicitly identify themselves as PRISM Coalition members. (Though I realize that the basic principle of astroturfing is to make it seem like your base is far larger than it actually is.)

From John Inglis in a comment at Tree of Life:

I'd like to make it clear that membership in AAP does not imply or require endorsement of the arguments made by PRISM. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press is currently a member of AAP but our access policies are our own. We were not involved in the formation of PRISM and do not support many of the statements being made on its behalf.

From Kevin Smith at Duke Scholarly Communications

...Equally simple-minded is the new campaign (PRISM) launched by the American Association of Publishers against public access for federally-funded research in health. The publishing industry lost in Congress earlier this year, when a mandate for public access to research funded by the National Institute of Health was included in an appropriations bill. Now they hope to reverse that loss by convincing the public that mandated access for taxpayers is “government interference.” Why it is not government interference for tax money to finance the research in the first place is not clear, except to note that publishers get a free ride on such research. The researchers, of course, are seldom paid for the articles they write based on the government-sponsored research, and publishers can charge outrageous rents to let the public see the results. Little wonder that they want to protect their golden goose. But the irony of accusing the government, which paid for the research, of wanting to free-load off the publishers, who do not, is a bit too much....

From Peter Murray-Rust at A Scientist and the Web:

...The supreme irony is that the PRISMoids primary products are quality and integrity. And this is precisely what they are destroying before our eyes....incredibly risky because when (not if) this bubble bursts they are left with nothing....