Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More on PRISM

Dana Blankenhorn, Publisher war against open access, Open Source (a ZDNet blog), September 12, 2007.

The first freedom in open source is access. But access threatens business models, so when publishers felt the heat of open source advocates, they did what any other business would do.

They launched a PR War. Its aim is to stop a requirement that research funded by the NIH be placed on the agency’s PubMed Central within 12 months of publication. The House has passed it in the new budget, the Senate is considering it.

Getting research onto the Web would end the publishers’ current exclusive on older research, and would cost them money.

So the Association of American Publishers have launched a Web site, PRISM, which aims to convince lawmakers that “Public access equals government censorship.”

It’s the product of Eric Dezenhall....

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the Association of Research Libraries has gotten angry enough to send its members a PDF ”talking points memo” calling the AAP’s rhetoric inaccurate....

Peter Suber, the open access project director at Public Knowledge, has covered PRISM and the backlash against it on his blog. He says [PRISM's] lobbying is more of a threat to open access than the message put out by PRISM.

In the past, questions of academic publishing were elite topics argued mainly among elites. With PRISM, the publishing industry has broken out of this frame, targeting politicians and the public.

Without some serious pushback the first essential of open source could easily be lost.