Once again, I am compelled to respond to a letter [April 16, 2008] from Allan Adler [of the Association of American Publishers] and Martin Frank [of the DC Principles Coalition] regarding the mandate on public access to NIH-funded research. The private meetings between yourself and this particular group of publishers (who continue to imply in their letters that they speak for all publishers) are now legendary. How many times will they insist on meeting with you before they acknowledge that they have been given a chance to have their say?
Compliance with the NIH mandate by publishers is the right thing to do, is simple to do, and is the law. There is no need for a further rulemaking proceeding.
Many of the implementation issues raised in the April 16th letter could be resolved if these publishers simply cooperated with PubMed Central and deposited their published content there, for release to the public after 12 months. I trust that they consider their content sufficiently interesting to the scientific community to sustain subscription revenues by selling access during the first 12 months post-publication.
It seems that this group of publishers is primarily concerned with sustaining the substantial profits they make on the backs of public funding and through their reactionary stance on intellectual property. It is time to move forward with implementation of the mandate using 21st century principles, by which the people who did the research retain rights over its distribution.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.