SPARC enews/September 2008
1. SPARC News
On September 9, Representative John Conyers (D-MI), Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, introduced legislation that would amend U.S. copyright law, overturn the NIH Public Access Policy, and effectively make it illegal for other U.S. federal agencies to enact similar policies. The proposed legislation is the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (HR6845).
On September 11, 2008, the House Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held a hearing to discuss the proposed legislation. Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC and convener of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, spoke on behalf of the libraries, research institutions, consumer groups, publishing organizations, and patients who support public access and the NIH Policy. Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director of the NIH, also testified to the tremendous advances in science that have already taken place due to public access to NIH-funded research. Transcripts of both Dr. Zerhouni's [PDF] and Ms. Joseph's [PDF] testimony are available online as is as the video [SMI] of the hearing.
The supportive testimony was the culmination of weeks' worth of active engagement by members of the wide coalition that supports public access. Letters that were submitted to Congress to express support for the policy and oppose HR6845 include: Nine national and regional library, publishing, and advocacy organizations [PDF]; and 33 Nobel prize-winners [PDF].
Supporters are encouraged to contact their Senators and Representatives to affirm their support for free and open access to publicly funded research and ask that they oppose HR6845. A specific call to action will be issued shortly. Please visit the ATA Web site for updates.
See "Articles of Interest," below, for media coverage of the hearing.
More SPARC News:
* SPARC announces international speaker roster for November repositories meeting
2. Partner News
* MPS and PLoS agree upon central funding of publication fees
3. Industry Roundup
Please see the Open Access News Blog
for more on these and other industry developments from the past month.
* The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) has released a Statement on Alternative Publishing Models & Open Access
* 33 Nobel prize-winners support the NIH Public Access Policy and oppose attempts to weaken it or halt its implementation [PDF]
5. SPARC Resources for Publishers
* Our publisher resource page has been updated with details on the NIH public access policy, including rising author submission rates and links to publisher policies and the NIH.
6. SPARC Resources for Students
* You're invited! Sign up to participate in Open Access Day, October 14, 2008
Read more on the SPARC-sponsored, Baker-authored Open Students Blog.
7. Upcoming events
SAVE THE DATE:
September 24 - 25, 2008
September 26, 2008
These and other important events can be found on the SPARC Activities Calendar.
8. Articles of Interest
Congressional Hearing Over Public Access Filled With High Drama, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 12, 2008
Protecting Copyright: Bill would protect publishers' investment, affect NIH policy, Chemical and Engineering News, September 11, 2008
At Hearing, Witness Says NIH Policy Will "Destroy" Commercial Scientific Publishing, Library Journal Academic Newswire, September 11, 2008
New Bill Would Forbid Copyright Transfer as a Condition for Federal Funding, Library Journal Academic Newswire, September 11, 2008
Is the NIH Public Mandate in Danger?, Library Journal Academic Newswire, September 9, 2008
NIH Update: PubMed Central Numbers Surge Dramatically in July, Library Journal Academic Newswire, September 4, 2008
You can help open access to research.
SPARC membership is open to North American and international academic and research institutions that share an interest in creating a more open and diverse marketplace for scholarly communication. Visit the SPARC Web site to learn how.