[SOAF] PRISM doesn't speak for Rockefeller University Press (fwd)

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 20:04:44 +0100

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 14:46:53 -0400
From: Peter Suber <peters--earlham.edu>
To: SPARC Open Access Forum <SPARC-OAForum_at_arl.org>
Subject: [SOAF] PRISM doesn't speak for Rockefeller University Press

[Forwarding from Mike Rossner, Executive Director of Rockefeller University
Press, with his permission. --Peter Suber.]

To the American Association of Publishers:

I am writing to request that a disclaimer be placed on the PRISM website
(http://www.prismcoalition.org/) indicating that the views presented on the
site do not necessarily reflect those of all members of the AAP. We at the
Rockefeller University Press strongly disagree with the spin that has been
placed on the issue of open access by PRISM.

First, the website implies that the NIH (and other funding agencies who
mandate release of content after a short delay) are advocating the demise of
peer review. Nothing could be further from the truth. These agencies
completely understand the need to balance public access to journal content
with the necessity for publishers to recoup the costs of peer review. After
extended discussions with publishers, these agencies have determined that
delayed release of content (none of them are advocating immediate release
unless publishers are compensated handsomely for such release) is consistent
with the STM subscription business model, in which peer review is a basic

Second, how can PRISM refer to bias when the government is mandating that
ALL papers resulting from research they fund be released to the public after
a short delay? The major potential for bias by the government and other
funding agencies has already occurred when they decide what research to fund
(e.g., stem cell research).

Third, PRISM takes issue with government spending on a repository of papers
resulting from government-funded research. The government has been forced
into this position by those publishers who refuse to ever release most of
their content to the public.

Fourth, PRISM maintains that published papers are private property. Most of
the research published by STM publishers only exists because of public
funding. No public funding - no research no millions in profit.
Publishers thus have an obligation to give some of their private property
back to the public, on whose taxes they depend for their very existence.

Finally, we take issue with the title: Partnership for Research Integrity in
Science and Medicine. The use of the term "research integrity" is
inappropriate in this context. The common use of this term refers to
whether the data presented are accurate representations of what was actually
observed. In other words, has any misconduct occurred? This is not the
primary concern of peer reviewers, who ask whether the data presented
support the conclusions drawn. It is thus incorrect to link the term
research integrity directly with peer review.

I could go on, but I think you will get the point that we strongly disagree
with the tack AAP has taken on this issue. We urge you to put a disclaimer
on the PRISM site, to make it clear that your assertions do not represent
the views of all of your members.

Yours sincerely,
Mike Rossner, Ph.D.
Executive Director
The Rockefeller University Press
Received on Thu Aug 30 2007 - 20:07:48 BST

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