AAP launches anti-OA lobbying organization (fwd)

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 21:43:50 +0100 (BST)

   From SOAF. See also Peter Suber's splendid, measured reply in
   OA News
   (more to come in Peter's September SOAN).

Exercise: See whether PRISM has managed to come up with ny substantive
point that has not already been refuted many times over, e.g. in:

    Berners-Lee, T., De Roure, D., Harnad, S. and Shadbolt, N. (2005)
    Journal publishing and author self-archiving: Peaceful Co-Existence
    and Fruitful Collaboration. http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/11160/


Contact: Sara Firestone
212-255-0200, Ext. 257

New Initiative Preserving Research Integrity to Unite Scholars, Publishers

PRISM Coalition to Inform Public on Risks Government Interference Poses to
Science and Medicine

New York, NY, August 23, 2007: A new initiative was announced today to
bring together like minded scholarly societies, publishers, researchers and
other professionals in an effort to safeguard the scientific and medical
peer-review process and educate the public about the risks of proposed
government interference with the scholarly communication process.

The Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine is a
coalition launched with developmental support from the Professional &
Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers
(AAP) to alert Congress to the unintended consequences of government
interference in scientific and scholarly publishing.

The group has launched a website at
<http://www.prismcoalition.org/>http://www.prismcoalition.org , where it
articulates the PRISM Principles, an affirmation of publishers'
contribution to science, research, and peer review, and an expression of
support for continued private sector efforts to expand access to scientific
information. ( http://www.prismcoalition.org/prism/about.htm )

"We are enthusiastic about this initiative and the potential of our new
website to educate policy makers and citizens about our efforts to increase
access to information, to alert them to the very real threat to peer review
that ill-considered government interference represents, and to explore the
ways in which we can safeguard peer review as a critical component of
scientific integrity," said Patricia Schroeder, president and CEO of
AAP. "Only by preserving the essential integrity of the peer-review
process can we ensure that scientific and medical research remains
accurate, authoritative, and free from manipulation and censorship and
distinguishable from junk science."

Recently, there have been legislative and regulatory efforts to compel
not-for-profit and commercial journals to surrender to the Federal
government a large number of published articles that scholarly journals
have paid to peer review, publish, promote, archive and distribute. Mrs.
Schroeder stressed that government interference in scientific publishing
would force journals to give away their intellectual property and weaken
the copyright protections that motivate journal publishers to make the
enormous investments in content and infrastructure needed to ensure
widespread access to journal articles. It would jeopardize the financial
viability of the journals that conduct peer review, placing the entire
scholarly communication process at risk.

"Peer review has been the global standard for validating scholarly research
for more than 400 years and we want to make sure it remains free of
unnecessary government interference, agenda-driven research, and bad
science," said Dr. Brian Crawford, chairman of the executive council of
AAP's Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division. "The free market of
scholarly publishing is responsive to the needs of scholars and scientists
and balances the interests of all stakeholders."

Critics argue that peer reviewed articles resulting from government funded
research should be available at no cost. However, the expenses of peer
review, promotion, distribution and archiving of articles are paid for by
private sector publishers, and not with tax dollars. Mrs. Schroeder pointed
out that these expenses amount to hundreds of millions of dollars each year
for non-profit and commercial publishers. "Why would a federal agency want
to duplicate such expenses instead of putting the money into more research
funding?" she said.

The PRISM website includes factual information and reasoned commentary
designed to educate citizens and policy makers, to dispel inaccuracies and
counter the rhetorical excesses indulged in by some advocates of open
access, who believe that no one should have to pay for information that is
peer reviewed at the expense of non-profit and commercial publishers.

Featured on the PRISM website are backgrounders on peer review,
dissemination and access, preservation of the scholarly record and new
approaches publishers are taking along with discussion about the risks of
government intervention to the sustainability of peer review, copyright
infringement, the possibility of selective bias in the record of science,
federal budget uncertainties and inefficient allocation of government
funding that duplicates private sector investments. Importantly, the site
has information to assist the public in making their concerns known to

"We want to share as much scientific and medical information as possible
with the entire world. That's why we got into this business in the first
place," Mrs. Schroeder said.

Anyone who wishes to sign on to the PRISM Principles may do so on the site.

Editors: For more information, visit the PRISM website at
Received on Thu Aug 23 2007 - 21:49:11 BST

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