Open Access and Online Publishing
by Jeremy Butler — University of Alabama
September 10, 2007 – 12:11
An interesting debate popped up on Slashdot yesterday that is pertinent to MediaCommons and its goals. Its headline is "Libraries Defend Open Access." In specific, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is battling the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine (PRISM), a PR/lobbying front for the Association of American Publishers (AAP). ARL recently released an "Issue Brief" (in PDF format) that outlines PRISM's campaign of disinformation about online, open-access publishing and provides justifications to counter its arguments. (Even PRISM's name is a model of disinformation -- claiming as it does to defend "research integrity"!) In sum, the ARL argues that PRISM's talking points are:
- Public access to federally funded research and/or open access equates to the destruction of the peer review system.
- Public access equals government censorship.
- The government is trying to steal publishers’ intellectual property.
- Journal publishers do not create the content they publish, nor do they generally pay authors for that content or compensate reviewers for the time they spend ensuring the quality of published research through their contributions to the peer review process. The academy supports and provides the peer review.
- Existing and proposed policies concerning public access to federally funded research attempt to create balance between the contributions made and benefits received by publishers and allow them to continue to profit tremendously from the pool of content this funded research generates.