Elsevier-funded NY Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Wants to Deny Americans Access to Taxpayer Funded Research

By Razib Khan | January 6, 2012 9:44 am

I basically repeated the title from Michael Eisen, who has the details over at his weblog. A minor side point, if I blog on a paper you can’t get access to, contact me and I’m sure I can fix that situation. In any case, the point here is that apparently Congress, thanks to the prodding of representative Carolyn Maloney, is attempting to end the practice whereby NIH funded research becomes “open” after 12 months. Here’s what Michael suggests you do:

So I urge you to call/write/email/tweet Representative Maloney today, and tell her you support taxpayer access to biomedical research results. Ask her why she wants cancer patients to pay Elsevier $25 to access articles they’ve already paid for. And demand that she withdraw H.R. 3699.

Representative Maloney:

Twitter: @RepMaloney @CarolynBMaloney

Phone: 202-225-7944

FAX: 202-225-4709

Email: Use this form

You can also write your own representative. If you don’t have a blog, or this issue isn’t part of your purview as a blogger, please “share” Michael’s post on Facebook, twitter, etc.

MORE ABOUT: Politics

Comments (7)

  1. $25?
    What is this, retro to 2003? Try $39.95

  2. Are there any thoughts as to what interest group is behind this?

  3. Floyd

    Elsevier probably wants to charge everyone to access published government documents that are already available to the public. In other words, follow the money…

  4. Sandgroper

    In Michael’s words, it’s a dying industry because they are using an outmoded business model. Instead of embracing a new business model that would keep them in business, adequately recompense them for their services and give everyone immediate access, they keep trying to make the old one work.

    It sucks balls. The writing was on the wall for engineering proceedings and journals more than 20 years ago. It was obvious then that it was a model that was no longer working.

  5. “Research Works Act H.R.3699: The Private Publishing Tail Trying To Wag The Public Research Dog, Yet Again”



    The US Research Works Act (H.R.3699):

    “No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that — (1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work; or (2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the employer of such an actual or prospective author, assent to network dissemination of a private-sector research work.”

    Translation and Comments:

    “If public tax money is used to fund research, that research becomes “private research” once a publisher “adds value” to it by managing the peer review.”

    [Comment: Researchers do the peer review for the publisher for free, just as researchers give their papers to the publisher for free, together with the exclusive right to sell subscriptions to it, on-paper and online, seeking and receiving no fee or royalty in return].

    “Since that public research has thereby been transformed into “private research,” and the publisher’s property, the government that funded it with public tax money should not be allowed to require the funded author to make it accessible for free online for those users who cannot afford subscription access.”

    [Comment: The author’s sole purpose in doing and publishing the research, without seeking any fee or royalties, is so that all potential users can access, use and build upon it, in further research and applications, to the benefit of the public that funded it; this is also the sole purpose for which public tax money is used to fund research.]”

    H.R. 3699 misunderstands the secondary, service role that peer-reviewed research journal publishing plays in US research and development and its (public) funding….


  6. Ben

    The most ridiculous thing about this is that all of the following are in Carolyn Maloney’s district: Weill-Cornell Medical School, NYU Medical School, Mt. Sinai Medical School, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University. Locally we will work on leveraging that pressure against her.

  7. Ben

    PS – please join and share the opposition to this on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ResearchWorksAct


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com


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