Victory for the NIH open access plan in the House
harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Thu Dec 2 13:31:51 EST 2004
In his superb summary of this past month's dramatic OA developments
Peter Suber wrote:
> Congress approves the NIH plan
> After months of campaigning, debating, strategizing, negotiating, lobbying,
> educating, and waiting, the big news has finally happened.
> Congress approved the NIH plan.
> * Postscript. The press has been *very* slow to pick up on this big story.
> * Newspapers that covered the long and sometimes sharp debate between proponents
> * and opponents have not yet announced the result, let alone commented on its
> * significance. Is it possible that breakthrough success is boring and only
> * bickering is newsworthy?
An excellent question, and Richard Poynder has provided part of the answer
(offline), pointing out that the Press is rarely pro-active, seeking and
analyzing information. They tend instead just to cut-and-paste bits of
press-releases -- and the press releases here were certainly far more
wordy and numerous from those who opposed the NIH plan than from those
who supported it!.
But evidently, instead of writing press releases, those in favor of the
NIH plan sent NIH arguments in its support, and it is those (and good
sense) that prevailed.
The Press does owe it to the public now to report that outcome, frankly
Concerning the less successful outcome of the first round
of the (far from over!) UK recommendations:
"Guide for the Perplexed: Re: UK Select Committee Inquiry"
Peter Suber in http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/12-02-04.htm
"Most journalists reporting on the government response followed the
government in giving much more emphasis and attention to OA journals
than to OA repositories. We cannot blame them for putting their own
focus on the government's focus. But with depressing frequency,
journalists who set the stage for the government response by
describing the original report got it wrong in the same way that
the government got it wrong. It's hard to explain or excuse this
kind of mistake, since the journalists had the benefit of the press
release from the MPs who wrote the original report, pointing out
the mismatch between the government response and the committee's
"There is a setback for OA here, but it has been misrepresented
by the press. The government clearly rejected the argument for OA
journals. Of course, it rejected the argument without the recommended
experimentation and to that extent it prejudged the issue or took
the word of the publishing industry. But since this was a minor
recommendation in the overall report, this is only a minor setback.
The true setback is that the primary recommendation for OA archiving
was dismissed without any serious effort to respond to the committee's
evidence and arguments."
(This will all be sorted out in due time, but with OA already so long, long,
overdue, it would be a help if the Press were to stop being part of the problem
and start being part of the solution, by reporting it more carefully!)
like moths and drunks,
where the light
where the key
Pertinent Prior Amsci Topic Threads:
"The UK report, press coverage, and the
Green and Gold Roads to Open Access"
"AAU misinterprets House Appropriations Committee Recommendation" (2004)
"Richard Poynder's report on round 1 of UK Open Access proposal"
"Critique of PSP/AAP Critique of NIH Proposal"
"Critique of STM Critique of NIH Proposal"
"Critique of APS Critique of NIH Proposal"
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