Research Bought, Then Paid For – an Op-Ed in the New York Times

An Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, written by Michael Eisen (scientist and co-founder of Public Library of Science), decries a new bill that would cripple access to publicly-funded research currently made available by under NIH Public Access Policy.

Eisen writes,

The Research Works Act would forbid the N.I.H. to require, as it now does, that its grantees provide copies of the papers they publish in peer-reviewed journals to the library. If the bill passes, to read the results of federally funded research, most Americans would have to buy access to individual articles at a cost of $15 or $30 apiece. In other words, taxpayers who already paid for the research would have to pay again to read the results.

…Rather than rolling back public access, Congress should move to enshrine a simple principle in United States law: if taxpayers paid for it, they own it.

…But it is not just Congress that should act. For too long scientists, libraries and research institutions have supported the publishing status quo out of a combination of tradition and convenience. But the latest effort to overturn the N.I.H.’s public access policy should dispel any remaining illusions that commercial publishers are serving the interests of the scientific community and public.”

to read the complete article, go to: