Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Conyers bill is back

The Conyers bill is back: Yesterday Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) re-introduced the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act.  This year it's H.R. 801 (last year it was H.R. 6845), and co-sponsored by Steve Cohen (D-TN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Robert Wexler (D-FL).  The language has not changed.  [...] The Fair Copyright Act is to fair copyright what the Patriot Act was to patriotism.  It would repeal the OA policy at the NIH and prevent similar OA policies at any federal agency.  (Via Open Access News.)

Not again! How is Conyers different here from Santorum, who wanted to close open access to weather data to protect commercial weather data interests? We pay for this knowledge to be created with our taxes. We should not pay again some private party to get access to it. A private party that has most of its editorial work done by academics whose salaries are paid by tuition and by (directly or indirectly) government research grants. If bailout is a bad word, we have been bailing out scientific and technical publishers for decades now. That's why I refuse to review submissions to any closed access journal, and I write that to its editor when I am asked.

3 comments:

Charles said...

That's why I refuse to review submissions to any closed access journal, and I write that to its editor when I am asked.

Interesting. Which way do the society journals count in this policy?

Fernando Pereira said...

If the society journals are not open access, I don't review.

Bob said...

I've adopted the same policy, including writing back to editors to tell them I no longer review for closed-source journals or conferences.

I've also scaled down my reviewing so I review no more than ten or so papers for every paper I submit.

I'm torn about venues like ACL that have such low acceptance rates. I've been reviewing for the workshops instead recently and declining the main conference reviews. I've also been enjoying attending the workshops more than the main conference, as they're more conducive to discussion.