Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, September 07, 2007

Rockefeller UP breaks with the DC Principles Coalition

Mike Rossner, Executive Director of Rockefeller University Press, has allowed me to distribute the letter he sent to the DC Priniples Coalition:

I read with interest your letters to the Senate regarding the LHHS appropriations bill. The Rockefeller University Press will not sign these letters, and we hereby withdraw our support for the DC Principles coalition. Please remove our name from the list of signatories on your website.

Although the headline on the DC Principles website declares, "Not-for-Profit Publishers Commit to Providing Free Access to Research," it seems clear that your lobbying efforts are more closely aligned with those of the commercial publishers who keep their content under access controls. We at the Rockefeller University Press strongly believe in the release of journal content to the public after a short delay. In an ideal world, this would be done voluntarily by all publishers. Given the reluctance of many publishers to do so, however, the government has been forced to take action. We support these government efforts to make research funded by the public available to the public after a short delay, and we would thus like to remove any association of the Rockefeller University Press with the DC Principles coalition.


  • First some annotations:  The “LHHS appropriations bill” is the one from the House Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services Education and Related Agencies that would strengthen the NIH policy from a request to a requirement.  For details on the bill, see my article in the August 2007 issue of SOAN.  The DC Principles Coalition supports some kinds of free online access for research literature, but it lobbies vigorously against government policies that would encourage or require OA for publicly-funded research.  For examples of DCPC letters to Congress opposing the original NIH policy and opposing recent attempts to strengthen it, see its web site.
  • Last week (August 30) Mike Rossner and Rockefeller University Press released a letter to PRISM, “strongly disagree[ing] with the spin that has been placed on the issue of open access by PRISM” and asking it put a disclaimer on its website “indicating that the views presented on the site do not necessarily reflect those of all members of the AAP.”
  • Kudos to Rossner and Rockefeller for speaking up again.  The DCPC supports the removal of some access barriers to scientific research, but its lobbying campaign against OA for publicly-funded research harms science, researchers, and taxpayers.