Re: Suber/Harnad Statement in support of the investigative work of Richard Poynder

From: <C.Oppenheim_at_LBORO.AC.UK>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 10:03:42 +0100

I am delighted to associate myself 100% with this statement. I have been interviewed by Richard Poynder over many years, on topics not just including OA, and have always found him to be scrupulous and honest. He is the most professional journalist I have ever come across.


Professor Charles Oppenheim
Department of Information Science
Loughborough University
Leics LE11 3TU

Tel 01509-223065
Fax 01509 223053
e mail
-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum [mailto:AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM_at_LISTSERVER.SIGMAXI.ORG] On Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
Sent: 05 October 2008 23:58
Subject: Suber/Harnad Statement in support of the investigative work of Richard Poynder

Statement in support of the investigative work of Richard Poynder

Richard Poynder, a distinguished scientific journalist specializing in online-era scientific/scholarly communication and publication, has been the ablest, most prolific and most probing chronicler of the open access movement from its very beginning. He is widely respected for his independence, even-handedness, analysis, careful interviews, and detailed research.

Richard is currently conducting a series of investigations on the peer review practices of some newly formed open access journals and their publishers. In one case, when a publisher would not talk to him privately, Richard made his questions public in this Forum:

    "Help sought on OA publisher Scientific Journals International"

That posting elicited public and private threats of a libel suit and accusations of racism. Those groundless threats and accusations appear to us to be attempts to intimidate.

    "Lies, fear and smear campaigns against SJI and other OA journals"

Moreover, Richard is being portrayed as an opponent of open access, which he is not. He is an even-handed, critically minded analyst of the open access movement (among other things), and his critical investigations are healthy for open access.

He has interviewed us both, at length. While the resulting pictures were largely favorable, he didn't hesitate to probe our weaknesses and the objections others have raised to our respective methods or styles of work. This kind of critical scrutiny is essential to a new and fast-growing movement and does not imply hostility to the subjects of his investigation or opposition to open access.

Trying to suppress Richard Poynder's investigations through threats of legal action is contemptible. We hope that the friends of open access in the legal community will attest to the lawfulness of his inquiries and that all friends of open access will attest to the value and legitimacy of his investigative journalism.

Peter Suber and Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Oct 06 2008 - 13:28:31 BST

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