Re: AAU misinterprets House Appropriations Committee Recommendation

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 16:36:48 +0100

The clarification of the US Congress/NIH Recommendation -- by Rick
Johnson, director of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources
Coalition) (quoted below) -- is exactly correct.

Once the mists of misunderstanding are cleared, the US Congress/NIH
recommendation to mandate that all NIH-fundees must provide toll-free
public access online ("Open Access" OA) to all articles resulting from
NIH-funded research -- by self-archiving all articles online -- will be
seen as one of most obvious and natural conditions that tax-payers can
and should attach to eligibility for receiving research funding from
public money in the online age.

The mandate is in no way an attempt to impose the OA publishing model
on publishers. It is merely the natural requirement that publicly-funded
research results must be made publicly accessible. Ninety-two percent
of journals have already given their official green light to author
The self-archiving mandate will simply see to it that authors
actually do so, to their own benefit, to the benefit of research progress,
and to the benefit of the tax-payers who funded the research.

Stevan Harnad

    Publishers Protest at NIH:
    Say free access initiative would hurt scholarly societies

    Andrew Albanese
    Library Journal: News 9/1/200

    "While supporters of open access hailed a proposal by the National
    Institutes of Health (NIH) to make all taxpayer-funded NIH
    research freely available within six months (see News, LJ 8/04,
    p. 17),
    representatives of more than 50 publishers visited the NIH
    offices in early August to voice strong opposition. "This measure
    caught publishers completely off-guard," said Barbara Meredith,
    VP of professional and scholarly publishing at the Association of
    American Publishers (AAP). "This essentially mandates open access
    without any evidentiary hearings or studies."

    "Rick Johnson, director of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic
    Resources Coalition), in a letter to NIH director Elias Zerhouni,
    suggested that NIH had made the right choice and that publishers
    appeared to "misunderstand the plan, which proposes open archiving,
    not open-access publication." Open archiving, Johnson said, "is not
    a threat to journals," as articles in PubMed Central are not the
    final, authoritative version of the article preferred by authors for
    citation purposes and that the proportion of open access articles
    in a typical journal likely would be insufficient for libraries or
    individuals to cancel their subscriptions."


    Sparc director Rick Johnson's letter to NIH director Elias Zerhouni:

Pertinent Prior AmSci Topic Threads:

    "AAU misinterprets House Appropriations Committee Recommendation"

    "What Provosts Need to Mandate"

    "Implementing the US/UK recommendation to mandate OA Self-Archiving"

    "Mandating OA around the corner?"

    "University policy mandating self-archiving of research output"

    "The UK report, press coverage, and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access"

    "UK Select Committee Inquiry into Scientific Publication"

UNIVERSITIES: If you have adopted or plan to adopt an institutional
policy of providing Open Access to your own research article output,
please describe your policy at:

    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.

A complete Hypermail archive of the ongoing discussion of providing
open access to the peer-reviewed research literature online (1998-2004)
is available at:
        To join the Forum:
        Post discussion to:
Received on Wed Sep 01 2004 - 16:36:48 BST

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