Elsevier withdraws support from Research Works Act, bill collapses


14 Responses to “Elsevier withdraws support from Research Works Act, bill collapses”

  1. Keith Tyler says:

    Now, I thought that government-made works were automatically public domain. So I don’t even know how this wasn’t a non-starter.

    • Bob Faull says:

      Works made by government employees are in the public domain.  But works by those funded by the government are not.  If your research is funded by the government your research papers can be copyrighted. It’d be nice if all government funded research had to be in open access journals, and maybe some day it will be, but right now the big publishers are basically in charge (at least in my area, psychiatry).

      • agthorn says:

         NIH-funded work does, via PubMed Central: http://publicaccess.nih.gov/ In regards to the “gold open access” mention below, I think that Elsevier offers to release to PubMed Central immediately for a fee, but they are still required to release to PMC after the 12-month period free of charge to the author.

  2. Rob says:

    Ya know.. all these grassroots actions actually having sway on legislation is starting to give me faith in democracy again.

  3. tdberg says:

    A few fairly important points that are sort of brushed aside in this post and others in the past:

    1. “Open access” is not “free access.” Someone, at some point, funds the dissemination of scientific reports. Most often, when someone is talking about an open access, they are referring to the “gold open access” model in which the author pays a publishing fee and the final report is free for the public at large to access. My work is in health sciences, and I am unaware of any ranked and indexed academic journals that are both free to publish and free to access.

    2. All Elsevier journals, every single one of them, offer a “gold open access” option, and have for at least the past 18 months. All authors have the option of paying a publishing fee so that their article will be open access. Very few authors take that option.

    3. Conducting a study and writing the first draft of a manuscript represents only a portion of the effort involved in disseminating the findings of that research. Cory, as a published author, I wouldn’t think you’d be so quick to dismiss the work of professional editors.

    4. Elsevier is not the only for-profit academic publisher. They’re just the largest, and thus the easiest bogeyman. But Sage, Lippincott, etc. follow the same business model, as have many others for decades. The issue, ultimately, is the commodification of knowledge. Elsevier certainly didn’t invent that, and they’re far from the monolithic corporate greedbag that you portray (PatientINFORM, Research 4 Life, OpenCourseWare, etc.).

    • Alex Rudnick says:

      @tdberg: I looked around for like five minutes, and I haven’t found anything about Elsevier offering gold open-access in its journals — this is the first I’ve heard of it, and I’ve been following this stuff pretty closely? …

      Can you provide links documenting this?

    • Guido says:

      Sorry, editing IS important, but north 1 bn a year. 

  4. wither says:

    I’ll leave this link here. They want the freeeee market. As in, you found the research and give it to them for free, and they “add value” in some vague way and get to become the exclusive distributors. 



  5. gregbaker says:

    Here’s the thing that baffles me: Elsevier withdrew their support, so the bill collapsed. This was a bill before Congress.

    Aren’t congresspeople supposed to at least *pretend* these things are being done for the good of the country, not as the result of blatant bribery? I can’t believe they didn’t at least say “we’re going to think about it more” and let it drop silently, rather than pretty much come out and say “The paymasters said to stop this one.”

  6. Amelia_G says:

    Translators would support more open access. It would help us research terms better.

  7. gargoyle says:

    I know you are just trolling, but how is a protest organized by content creators (read: scientists) thug like? Isn’t this a good example of the market at work? Elsevier’s business model relies on content creators. Those creators didn’t like Elsevier’s business practices, and so threatened to take their work elsewhere. Elsevier responded by changing their practices. It should be every Republican’s wet dream: the market solving it’s own problems without government intervention. Why is it that so many people are pro market and anti government when that position supports corporate interests over individuals, but as soon as the free market does something for individuals (i.e., open-access), those same people are screaming for government intervention?

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