Open Access Legislation May Be Included in HHS Budget Bill

Posted on November 3, 2007  Comments (0)

Open Access to Research Funded by U.S. Is at Issue by Rick Weiss:

The idea is that consumers should not have to buy expensive scientific journal subscriptions — or be subject to pricey per-page charges for nonsubscribers — to see the results of research they have already paid for with their taxes. Until now, repeated efforts to legislate such a mandate have failed under pressure from the well-heeled journal publishing industry and some nonprofit scientific societies whose educational activities are supported by the profits from journals that they publish.

But proponents — including patient advocates, who want easy access to the latest biomedical findings, and cash-strapped libraries looking for ways to temper escalating subscription costs — have parlayed their consumer-friendly “public access” message into legislative language that has made it into the Senate and House versions of the new HHS bill.

The opponents of open science are lobbying to keep scientific research funded by taxpayers unavailable to the public. As I have said before it is time to stop supporting those who attempt to stop scientific progress. The out of date thinking behind closed access journals should be discouraged and those journals fighting progress should not be supported. This legislation would bring openness to federal research in a similar manner to the steps taken by Howard Hughes Medical Institute announced for research they fund.

Related: Publishers Continue to Fight Open Access to ScienceScience Journal Publishers Stay StupidI Support the Public Library of ScienceOpen Access Legislation supported by 25 leading university provosts (2006)

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