Will 2012 be the year of open science publishing?

The Research Works Act (HR 3699) seems to have launched a wave of criticism that may finally end the publishers unfair profit of science. This bill pretends to prohibit the federal government, which funds a lot of research, from forcing publishers to make scientific papers available for free. Right now the NIH has a policy that says all funded research must be available for free one year after publication.

The problem lies in that the publishers dictate a, usually ridiculous, price to access research that has been paid for by funds from the government or private foundations. The questions that everyone, scientists and taxpayer, need to ask are:

  • What are they bringing to the table?
  • Why do we have to put up with them?
  • Why are they making a lot of profit from our work while our libraries spend millions and keep cutting subscriptions?

The economics of the current model are not justified, an analysis revealed that we could publish all papers in the world using the PLoS ONE model and costs with just the profits of the two largest publishers: Elsevier and Springer. The HR 3699 has brought a lot of discussion because it will only benefit the publishers, not the scientists and definitely not the taxpayers.

Please join the discussion and contact your Congress representative.

Some other articles of interest:

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