Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Access To The Research We've Paid For

This is a really bad idea
US Representatives Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced a bill into the House of Representatives in mid-December that would roll back the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy, which mandates that any published research that was funded by the federal science agency be submitted to the publically accessible digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication in journals. The bill, H.R. 3699, would also make it illegal for other federal agencies to adopt similar open-access policies. 
The legislation, referred to as the Research Works Act, is being applauded by the Association of American Publishers, a book publishing industry trade organization that claims the NIH policy and others like it undercut the scientific publishing business, which seldom receives federal funds. “At a time when job retention, US exports, scholarly excellence, scientific integrity, and digital copyright protection are all priorities, the Research Works Act ensures the sustainability of this industry,said Tom Allen, president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers in a statement....
Diet, for one, is undergoing a revolution in part because of the information provided on PubMed; the sneaker industry is also seeing dramatic change.

We shouldn't abandon this tool just because the publishing industry doesn't like it.

One can argue that the Gov't shouldn't be funding so much research.  I think there's a fair argument to be made there.

But once it has, the people who funded it ought to have access to it.