Open Access Proponents Derail Elsevier-Backed Publishing Restriction

open access uk Academics and researchers who support open access to research were able to take a (short) victory lap on Monday. Legislation that would have prevented federal agencies from publishing publicly-funded research results without the approval of the originating journal died after Dutch publishing giant Elsevier pulled its support.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the Research Works Act (HR 3699, emphasis added) would have prohibited

a federal agency from adopting, maintaining, continuing, or otherwise engaging in any policy, program, or other activity that: (1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any [“research funded in whole or in part by a federal agency”] without the prior consent of the publisher; or (2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the author’s employer, assent to such network dissemination.

The proposed legislation contradicted the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy (2008) which requires that NIH-funded researchers submit their manuscripts to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central “no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.”

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A Call For Political Transparency

not confidentialIf you run a political site — such as a PAC or a campaign for a person or issue — then you should not be able to hide who you are in the WhoIs database.

In other words, any political action site — a PAC or a site advocating for or against a person or an issue — should contain information about the organization or person who is running the website in a Whois lookup. [To clarify, I’m not talking about opinion sites but sites that are driving campaigns.]

If you agree with me, please sign this petition. And share it!

A “private domain registration” that shows only the domain registrar, such as GoDaddy, is insufficient for political action transparency. Knowing the provenance of a website is essential information for determining a site’s credibility and veracity. This transparency is essential in an ever-crowded digital space, where setting up an online storefront can be done in five minutes.

The impetus for my soapbox Tweet and Google+ post was this site/comment. A commenter at Google+ suggested the WhiteHouse petition.

What say you? Vote for transparency by signing the petition and sharing it (or this post)! TIA!

Photo credit: Flickr CCL.

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