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Sunday, September 14, 2008

More on the bill to overturn the NIH policy

Here are some comments on the Conyers bill from around the blogosphere.

From the Bioinformationista:

...Are you kidding me?!  I know that it is a cumbersome process to have to deposit your work, but how can you really tell me that the publisher’s interest are more important than scientific process?  *SOAPBOX WARNING* If you are AT ALL interested in NLP [natural language processing] or in the fact that you pay taxes so that this research can be conducted, then I would recommend contacting your representative to oppose this bill....And the publishers’ arguments on PEER REVIEW?  Please.  Ask any of the PLoS journals if the peer-review process has been destroyed.  I’m appalled....

From Michael Eisen at It Is Not Junk :

...I googled [Ralph Oman, one of the witnesses at the September 11 hearing]. And here's the top hit. A list of campaign contributions he's made. These lists are fascinating. Oman is clearly no Democrat. He gave money to Bill Frist, Henry Hyde and even Katherine Harris when she ran for Congress!! So it's curious that he also gave $500 to John Conyers, head of the House Judiciary Committee who is holding this hearing. Hmm. I wonder why he was invited.... Are our representatives really this cheap? ...

From T.K. Kenyon on Gather:

...[The NIH OA policy] is crucial for [researchers,] journalists and for citizen scientists who want to read the primary literature and judge results on their merit rather than relying on brief abstracts. Most researchers have little access outside of their narrow field....The free access of information, especially information based on research funded by taxpayer money, is essential to research and to society. I hope Congress does not stymie the NIH's gallant attempt to spread knowledge....

From Meredith Wadman at The Great Beyond (from Nature):

There’s nothing like having old friends in high places. And Pat Schroeder, the former congresswoman who has been president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) for the last eleven years, certainly has such a friend in John Conyers. Conyers is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; he and she were sitting side by side as the committee’s two most senior Democrats when she left Congress after 24 years in 1996.

Which may go some way toward explaining why Conyers, a liberal Democrat whom one might expect to be on the other side of this issue, is taking harsh aim at [the NIH OA] policy....

PS.  I've blogged many comments on the bill myself.  Here's a quick recap to date:

  • On September 5, in response to the first public news of the hearing and bill reported by Andrew Albanese at Library Journal Academic Newswire
  • On September 11, in response to (1) a joint letter to the House sponsors of the bill from the DC Principles Coalition and the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers, and (2) a public statement from the Copyright Alliance
  • On September 12, in response to publisher arguments as quoted by Jennifer Howard in the Chronicle of Higher Education
  • On September 12, in response to the American Chemical Society
  • On September 12, in response publisher arguments as quoted by Jocelyn Kaiser in Science
  • On September 12, in response to the American Association of University Presses
  • On September 12, in response to new information published by Andrew Noyes in Government Executive
  • On September 12, in response to new information published by Greg Piper in Washington Internet Daily
  • On September 12, in response to Mike Carroll's analysis that the bill goes much further than the publishers or Judiciary Committee probably intended