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Fwd: Call for quick action: Elsevier trying to restrict open access to US-government-funded research!


Is this rule of publicly funded research being available freely over
the Internet (or other platforms) existent in other countries?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
Date: Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 10:30
Subject: Call for quick action: Elsevier trying to restrict open
access to US-government-funded research!
To: DML <dinosaur@usc.edu>

I'm sorry I didn't post this earlier; I only learned of it 24 hours
ago and then spent too much time wondering why nobody had posted it


I'll simply copy the first three paragraphs:


Most of you will know that the major US science-funding agencies
require the work they fund (from the public purse) to be made
available as open-access to the public that funded it. And it’s hard
for me to imagine anyone sees that requirement as anything other than
straightforwardly just.

But you may not know about the Research Works Act
<http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=807>, a truly vile piece of
legislation being proposed by two Elsevier-funded shills in the US
Congress, which would make it illegal for funding bodies to impose
this perfectly natural requirement. It may not be surprising that a
corporation as predatory as Elsevier
wants legal protection for its exploitative business model of stealing
publicly funded research; but it shocked me to find that this
preposterous Act ever got out of committee (unlike two earlier failed
attempts to overturn open-access mandates).

The good news is that there is something we can do. The Office of
Science Technology and Policy (OSTP) has issued a Request For
Information -- basically, it wants your opinion -- on public access to
peer-reviewed scholarly publications resulting from federally funded
research. You can read about this in (too much) detail here
but the bottom line is that you should email your comments to
publicaccess@ostp.gov _before the extended deadline of 12th January_.


The post goes on to mention that the OSTP seems to actually listen;
several people who e-mailed them have received nice, non-automatic

It is very important that not only US residents should write to the
OSTP. First of all, science simply isn't localized (except maybe to
"outside North Korea"); second, Elsevier officially sits in the
Netherlands, not the US, so the Research Works Act cannot be spun as
"protecting American business"; third, the RWA would make the US look
ridiculously evil, and only responses from all over the world can make
this clear.

Incidentally, like all other such companies, Elsevier doesn't pay the
editors of its journals much (elsewhere, John Hutchinson mentions
getting 250 $ a year for being an associate editor of an Elsevier
journal), and of course the reviewers get nothing. Unsurprisingly,
then, Elsevier's latest known profit margin was 36 %, within the range
of Springer, Wiley and Informa (32 to 42 %).
They really don't need subsidies from taxpayer money.

Could somebody please forward this to the vrtpaleo list?

Renato Santos