Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, October 08, 2007

More on PRISM

Mark Chillingworth, Scientists, publishers and authors rage against PRISM, Information World Review, October 8, 2007.  Excerpt:

Angry researchers, scientists and editors have called for action against the Association of American Publishers (AAP), one of the prime movers
behind the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine.

Announced last month, PRISM is a campaign group that has denounced open access (OA) publishing as “junk science” that is destroying the foundations of peer review. “Their claim that OA threatens the peer review process is nothing less than the ‘big lie’ – the propaganda techniques of Dr Goebbels,” said the founder of the International Journal of Information Management, Tom Wilson, in a resignation letter.

Well-known scientist and OA supporter Peter Murray-Rust from Cambridge added to the chorus of derision for PRISM. “This initiative is an undisguised coalition to discredit OA publishing and its launch has generated universal dismay and anger in many quarters,” he said.

“This campaign is clearly focused on the preservation of the status quo in scholarly publishing (along with the attendant revenues), and not on ensuring that scientific research results are distributed and used as widely as possible,” wrote Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.

Senior publishers have also quit AAP’s scholarly publishing division. Many are now calling for action against PRISM and the AAP. “I shall in future refuse to undertake unpaid refereeing work for any journal which is not an OA publication,” Wilson said.

The Association of Research Libraries said PRISM’s attacks on OA and peer review “repeatedly conflates policies regarding access to federally funded research with hypothesised dire consequences”. It pointed out that no demand for public access to federally funded research “altered the traditional practice of peer review”.

Comment.  Chillingworth is right that publishers are part of the protest against PRISM, but he doesn't list those involved.  Here's my list from last week

How many publishers have publicly disavowed PRISM or distanced themselves from it?  Nine and counting (with links to their public statements): Cambridge University Press, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Columbia University Press, MIT Press, Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, Pennsylvania State University Press, Rockefeller University Press, University of Chicago Press.  How many publishers have been identified on the PRISM web site as members of the PRISM "coalition"?  Zero.