[Libs-Or] INFORMATION: Research Works Act Abandoned – Open Access Week in Review

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 13:51:00 PST 2012


Research Works Act Abandoned - Open Access Week in Review
Posted on March 2,
2012<http://www.districtdispatch.org/2012/03/research-works-act-abandoned-open-access-week-in-review/>
by Corey Williams <http://www.districtdispatch.org/author/corey-w/>|

http://www.districtdispatch.org/2012/03/research-works-act-abandoned-open-access-week-in-review/

This week brought with it the demise of an *anti*-open access bill that was
wildly *unpopular *with ALA members - the Research Works
Act<http://www.ala.org/advocacy/research-works-act>(H.R.
3699 <http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:HR3699:>). On Monday,
the publishing company Elsevier (the rumored bill backer) publicly
announced<http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/intro.cws_home/newmessagerwa>it
was withdrawing support for the Research Works Act - essentially
rendering the bill dead. And just to be sure there were no misgiving about
the bill's status, its co-sponsors, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep.
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), released a joint
statement<http://maloney.house.gov/press-release/issa-maloney-statement-research-works-act>explaining,

The American people deserve to have access to research for which they have
paid. This conversation needs to continue and we have come to the
conclusion that the Research Works Act has exhausted the useful role it can
play in the debate. As such, we want Americans concerned about access to
research and other participants in this debate to know we will not be
taking legislative action on HR 3699, the Research Works Act.

The *New York Times* weighed in by publishing a
piece<http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/science/a-wide-gulf-on-open-access-to-federally-financed-research.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=gulf%20on%20open%20access%20to%20federally%20financed&st=cse>on
the topic and explained the White House's Office of Science and
Technology Policy (OSTP) is also working on the access issue and is
preparing a progress report to be submitted to Congress in a few weeks.
(The ALA and Association of College & Research Libraries submitted
comments<http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/issues/scholcomm/ala_acrl_rfi_response1-12.pdf>(pdf)
to OSTP in response to their call for input in December.)

*Library Journal
*reported<http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/02/legislation/elsevier-backs-off-rwa-support-still-opposes-mandated-open-access/>on
the development as well, and said "The publisher [Elsevier] had been
the
target of a boycott among academics..."

Then yesterday the *Washington Times* published an article titled *Scientists
Protest Cost of Research
Journals<http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/29/scientists-protest-cost-of-research-journals/>
* that links the backlash of epic proportions by academics against Elsevier
with Elsevier's succumbing to pulling the plug on the Research Works Act.

So where does this leave open access, publishing and current legislation?
For one thing, academics have united and are pushing back on existing
publishing models which require the public to "pay twice" for access to
federally funded research (i.e. taxpayers funding the research being
conducted and then paying again to access the resulting peer-reviewed
journal articles). For another, with the Research Works Act essentially
abandoned, the path is clear to focus our energy on moving positive
legislation that would *expand* access to federally funded research (paid
by taxpayers, us!).

As luck would have it the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) of
2012
<http://www.ala.org/advocacy/access/accesstoinformation/publiclyfundedresearch/s1373>(S.
2096 <http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:S2096:>, H.R.
4004<http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:HR4004:>)
was recently introduced in both the Senate and the House and enjoys
bipartisan support. In a recent blog
post<http://www.districtdispatch.org/2012/03/2012/02/its-frpaa-time-pro-open-access-legislation-introduced-in-house-and-senate/>heralding
FRPAA's introduction, I pointed out that its passage would be a
big step in the right direction by expanding the amount of research made
available* and* providing access to it without additional charges to us,
the taxpayers - in step with what Reps. Issa and Maloney say the American
people deserve.

The ALA has a strong history of support for FRPAA legislation - as it
builds on the success of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public
Access Policy implemented in 2008. In addition, the ALA and ACRL also
joined a recent coalition
letter<http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/issues/scholcomm/oawgS2096_2-14-12.pdf>(pdf)
thanking FRPAA's co-sponsors for reintroducing the legislation. ALA
members can expect to receive notice of a *call to action* at key junctures
as we work to seek passage of this *pro-*open access legislation.

Corey Williams
Associate Director, Office of Government Relations
American Library Association

http://www.districtdispatch.org/2012/03/research-works-act-abandoned-open-access-week-in-review/



-- 
*Diedre Conkling**
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027
Newport, OR 97365
Phone & Fax: 541-265-3066
Work email**: **diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org*<diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
*
Home email: **diedre08 at gmail.com* <diedre08 at gmail.com>

 "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change
your attitude."--Maya Angelou
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