MIT Press First to Distance Itself from Publisher Association over Research Works Act

Posted January 25th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

MIT Press was the first publisher to publicly disavow the Association of American Publishers’ support of the Research Works Act, a bill which would make the NIH Public Access Policy, along with any other similar government effort to make taxpayer-funded research openly accessible to the public, illegal.

“The AAP’s press release on the Research Works Act does not reflect the position of the MIT Press; nor, I imagine, the position of many other scholarly presses whose mission is centrally focused on broad dissemination,” says Ellen Faran, Director of the MIT Press.

Many university presses are members of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and others have followed MIT Press in distancing themselves from the AAP’s action in recent days, including the University of California Press and Rockefeller University Press. Other publishers who are members of AAP have also spoken out against the bill, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Nature Publishing Group.

The Research Works Act “would forbid federal agencies to do anything that would result in the sharing of privately published research—even if that research is done with the help of taxpayer dollars—unless the publisher of the work agrees first” according to Jennifer Howard of the New York Times.

For more information:
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Who Gets to See Published Research?

New York Times: Research Bought, Then Paid For

The Guardian (UK): Academic publishers have become the enemies of science

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