declaring your interests.

From: Rich Roberts <roberts_at_NEB.COM>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 08:12:29 -0500

Mr Ward:

I was at first offended by the suggestion that I was not aware of BMC's
involvement in rallying support against the misguided statement from the
Royal Society. My own view is that it was very generous of Matt Cockerill
to spend the time getting some of us organized. It is the sort of thing I
would have done myself had I known of the open letter. Apparently it
wasn't quite as open as one might have wished.

In the interests of declaring interests, I am an ardent advocate of open
access publication having written extensively about it and championing it
at every opportunity. I also was heavily involved in making sure that
Nucleic Acids Research became the first subscription-based journal to move
to an open access model - I am one of their senior editors.

It is too bad that so many supposedly not-for-profit academic societies
have felt so pressured financially to oppose open access. They certainly
seem to be serving Mammon rather than their members. Perhaps they should
openly confess their conflicts, especially since the decisions are usually
being made by a small clique of members without direct consultation of the
rest. I would really like to see a poll carried out of all the FRSs to see
how the majority feel.

Rich Roberts
Chief Scientific Officer New England Biolabs
Senior Executive Editor Nucleic Acids Research
Editorial Board Member PLoS Biology
1993 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
Behalf Of Ward, Bob
Sent: 09 December 2005 08:50
Subject: Re: Open Letter about OA to the Royal Society by Fellows of the
Royal Society

Dear Stevan,

If this was "a rather disinterested contribution of BMC toward OA", why
was its involvement not openly declared in the letter, or in the
prominent piece that BioMed Central devoted to the letter on the home
page of its website? My understanding is that some of the signatories
did not even know about BMC's involvement when they signed.

I think it would be best for contributors to the debate on open access
to openly declare their interests. The Royal Society has openly
acknowledged that, as a registered charity, it uses its surplus from the
publication of its journals to fund meetings, lectures and other
activities for the benefit of the science, engineering and technology
communities, and for the public.

So how about everybody else declaring their interests? After all, it is
now standard practice for authors to declare any potential conflicts of
interest when they submit papers to journals. So perhaps you could start
a trend, Stevan, by declaring your interests.

Best wishes,


Bob Ward
Senior Manager
Policy Communication
Royal Society
6-9 Carlton House Terrace

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7451 2516
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7451 2615
Mobile: +44 (0) 7811 320346

Richard J. Roberts
New England Biolabs
240 County Road
Ipswich, MA 01938-2723

Tel: (978) 380-7405
Fax: (978) 380-7406
Received on Thu Dec 15 2005 - 13:44:26 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:09 GMT