Position on Public Access

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Peter Suber

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Mar 26, 2012, 8:47:46 PM3/26/12
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[Forwarding from Mike Rossner at Rockefeller U Press, via Liblicense.  --Peter Suber.]


From: Mike Rossner <ros...@mail.rockefeller.edu>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 19:32:38 -0400

For the reference of Liblicense readers, the following letter was just
sent to all Rockefeller University Press subscribers:

Dear Librarian,

I am writing to clarify the position of The Rockefeller University
Press (RUP) on various legislative efforts regarding public access to
publications resulting from federally funded research.  RUP is a
member of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the
Association of American University Presses (AAUP), who have both
recently provided position statements on this issue.  However, RUP
does not agree with those statements.

RUP is a subscription-based publisher that publishes three biomedical
research journals: The Journal of Cell Biology, The Journal of
Experimental Medicine, and The Journal of General Physiology.  We have
released our back content to the public since 2001 – long before any
federal mandates existed – because we believe we have an obligation to
give something back to the public that funds the research we publish.

The AAP supported the now-defunct Research Works Act.  RUP strongly
opposed that act.

Both the AAP and AAUP have opposed the Federal Research Public Access
Act (FRPAA), which has been re-introduced into both the House and
Senate. Although numerous non-profit publishers signed the AAP letter,
the RUP does not stand with those publishers.  RUP supports FRPAA in
principle.  We know from the NIH public access policy that mandated
access to the results of federally-funded research is necessary to get
certain publishers to release this content to the public, and we
support legislation to extend the NIH policy to other large federal
funding agencies.

The AAP and AAUP use a one-size-does-not-fit-all argument to oppose
FRPAA because the drafted legislation calls for all large federal
agencies to mandate public access six months after publication.
Although it can be argued that a six-month embargo period may not be
suitable for all disciplines covered by FRPAA, this is not grounds to
oppose the legislation altogether.  It should be supported in
principle and could be modified during Congressional review to provide
the flexibility for each agency to choose its own embargo period.

The continuing rhetoric from the AAP and AAUP about having ongoing
"conversations" about access to the results of publicly funded
research is outdated.  There is legislation on the table that will
help to make public access a reality now.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Rossner
Executive Director

These comments are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily
reflect the position of The Rockefeller University.

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