These two questions are about the Research Works act, H.R.3699.IH , a three section bill recently introduced into the 112th U.S. Congress by Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). The purpose of the bill is to rescend the NIH policy of open acess for all published NIH research by requiring a publisher’s permission before any NIH funded manuscript can be made open access upon author request (by any federal agency). The law would essentially unmandate Pub Med Central and cripple the open access movement. The bill is a move backwards and is a direct response to highly successful open access publishers like PLoS and BMC, who are aligning themselves with the mission of Pub Med Central, having remarkable success in the high stakes game of journal impact factors, and forcing a recalcitrant market to adapt to less profitable but more science friendly behaviors.
If you answered “Yes, I don’t think this bill should pass” to the survey question above. We encourage you to write to your congressmen. You can find the web or email addresses to each of your congressmen here:
A sample draft that you might consider sending to your congressman or senator is offered below (use a second window so you can finish the survey).
I am a clinician who reads clinical and scientific journals. Bill H.R.3699.IH (the research works act) will obstuct medical research and clinical studies in order to provide corporate welfare to overseas publishers like Elsevier. It will stifle innovation, which is the life blood of American ingenuity and industry. I ask you to kill this bill. Please realize what its purpose really is: to allow overseas publishers to control dissemination of American science through pay per article billing. This would strangle access to U.S. science at home as research budgets dwindle, additionally exacerbating the worrisome trend of American brain drain. There is nothing positive in this bill for the American tax payer, for the American businessman, or for American science. Many reputable academic presses have already distanced themselves from this bill. The primary beneficiaries are abroad. I cannot urge you to dismiss or vote against this bill fast enough.