Research Works Act Shelved by Sponsors

 Posted by on February 27, 2012
Feb 272012

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the sponsors of the Research Works Act – Reps. Issa and Maloney – have pledged not to move the legislation forward.  The Research Works Act would have prevented government agencies that disburse grants from requiring that peer-reviewed literature resulting from research funded by their grants be made freely available online.

The legislation ran counter to the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy, enacted in 2008, which requires that NIH-funded peer-reviewed journal articles be to be “accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.”

The statement from Reps. Issa and Maloney:

“As the costs of publishing continue to be driven down by new technology, we will continue to see a growth in open-access publishers. This new and innovative model appears to be the wave of the future. The American people deserve to have access to research for which they have paid. This conversation needs to continue, and we have come to the conclusion that the Research Works Act has exhausted the useful role it can play in the debate.”

Hours before this announcement, Elsevier announced it would no longer support the Research Works Act.  The publisher’s statement noted that it had “heard from some Elsevier journal authors, editors and reviewers who were concerned that the Act seemed inconsistent with Elsevier’s long-standing support for expanding options for free and low-cost public access to scholarly literature.”  Elsevier had been the target of a boycott due to its previous support for the bill.


  4 Responses to “Research Works Act Shelved by Sponsors”

  1. […] the joint statement from Representatives Darrell Issa and Carolyn B. Maloney, who proposed this bill… together […]

  2. […] PIPA, defeated largely on the strength of a mass online blackout. Now, the Research Works Act, put to rest today based on the vocal opposition of the research community and a boycott that no doubt played a […]

  3. Forget boycotting Elsevier. Kill Elsevier!

    The boycott by itself is not enough. If we stop here, Elsevier will simply try this kind of thing again, buy off more politicians, write more bad bills. They can buy off anybody, not just Daryl Issuck and Carolyn Baloney. Scientists need to STOP SETTLING FOR EMPTY PROMISES AND TRUCES that only reinforce the pre-RWA status quo of monopolistic paywalls on publicly funded science – we must form an active movement to once and for all break science free from shackles of corporate publishing bureaucrats. The people getting most of Elsevier’s profits are NOT scientists, they are bureaucrats, lawyers, and investors. Switch everyone you know to open-access journals like PLoS, and expose the names of those who don’t make the switch, so we can finally KILL Elsevier.

    The Mathematics backdown is not enough. Why just maths? What about other fields which are STILL imprisoned by ElSerpient’s evil coils? I am in paleontology, and there are literally hundreds of dinosaur anatomy and taxonomy papers that I have been unable to access (by any LEGAL means anyway) because they are all trapped behind Elsevier’s paywalls, even papers that are several decades old! Them offering a brownie for maths and then saying they will continue to oppose federally mandated open-access on all other areas of taxpayer-funded research means they have NO intention of furthering science, and any compromise with them is futile. The only way to liberate science from this prison is to KILL the beast, and expose the names of those scientists who have sold out to it. Anyone who does so, is the only kind of true proponent of open-access and equitable learning. Down with Elsevier, and Wiley, T&F, Springer, and all the rest!!! They are gobbling up the fruits of the American people’s money, and not giving back anything in return!

    We need to hit “Elserpiente” where it hurts, right in the pocketbook. Not only refuse to buy their journals and cancel our subscriptions, but push universities to do the same. Also, we need to identify and EXPOSE those scientists and researchers who are still collaborating with them, and make sure they value their reputation enough to go open-access. If that means writing up a blacklist of traitors to science, so be it. Post in every scientific blog, BAN ELSEVIER, and post the names of those fools in the universities who still support it. Expose the moral bankruptcy and tarnished name of anyone you know who is a lobbyist for them in academia or refuses to stop publishing in their journals. And go to my blog for more info on how to break the grip of this menace for good.