[Taxacom] Max Planck Society cancels 1,200 Springer journals

Paul J. Johnson paul.johnson at sdstate.edu
Tue Oct 30 10:44:20 CDT 2007

Interestingly, our library Dean replied with the following, which  
some of us may not have seen.


Full U.S. Senate Approves Bill Containing Support for Access To  
Taxpayer-Funded Research

Washington, D.C.  October 24, 2007 - The U.S. Senate last night  
approved the FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill (S. 
1710), including a provision that directs the National Institutes of  
Health (NIH) to strengthen its Public Access Policy by requiring  
rather than requesting participation by researchers. The bill will  
now be reconciled with the House Appropriations Bill, which contains  
a similar provision, in another step toward support for public access  
to publicly funded research becoming United States law.

³Last night¹s Senate action is a milestone victory for public access  
to taxpayer-funded research,² said Heather Joseph, Executive Director  
of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition,  
a founding member of the ATA). ³This policy sets the stage for  
researchers, patients, and the general public to benefit in new and  
important ways from our collective investment in the critical  
biomedical research conducted by the NIH.²

Under a mandatory policy, NIH-funded researchers will be required to  
deposit copies of eligible manuscripts into the National Library of  
Medicine¹s online database, PubMed Central. Articles will be made  
publicly available no later than 12 months after publication in a  
peer-reviewed journal.

The current NIH Public Access Policy, first implemented in 2005, is a  
voluntary measure and has resulted in a de deposit rate of less than  
5% by individual investigators. The advance to a mandatory policy is  
the result of more than two years of monitoring and evaluation by the  
NIH, Congress, and the community.

³We thank our Senators for taking action on this important issue,²  
said Pat Furlong, Founding President and CEO of Parent Project  
Muscular Dystrophy.
³This level of access to NIH-funded research will impact the disease  
process in novel ways, improving the ability of scientists to advance  
therapies and enabling patients and their advocates to participate  
more effectively. The advance is timely, much-needed, and  we  
anticipate  an indication of increasingly enhanced access in future.²

³American businesses will benefit tremendously from improved access  
to NIH research,² said William Kovacs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice  
president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. ³The  
Chamber encourages the free and timely dissemination of scientific  
knowledge produced by the NIH as it will improve both the public and  
industry¹s ability to become better informed on developments that  
impact them  and on opportunities for innovation.² The Chamber is the  
world¹s largest business federation, representing more than three  
million businesses of every size, sector, and region.

³We welcome the NIH policy being made mandatory and thank Congress  
for backing this important step,² said Gary Ward, Treasurer of the  
American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). ³Free and timely public  
access to scientific literature is necessary to ensure that new  
discoveries are made as quickly as feasible. It¹s the right thing to  
do, given that taxpayers fund this research.² The ASCB represents  
11,000 members and publishes the highly ranked peer-reviewed journal,  
Molecular Biology of the Cell.

Joseph added, ³On behalf of the taxpayers, patients, researchers,  
students, libraries, universities, and businesses that pressed this  
bill forward with their support over the past two years, the ATA  
thanks Congress for throwing its weight behind the success of  
taxpayer access to taxpayer-funded research.²

Negotiators from the House and Senate are expected to meet to  
reconcile their respective bills this fall. The final, consolidated  
bill will have to pass the House and the Senate before being  
delivered to the President at the end of the year.


Paul J. Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor of Entomology

Insect Research Collection
Box 2207A, Agricultural Hall 219
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD 57007, USA
tel: 605.688.4438; fax: 605.688.4602

On Oct 29, 2007, at 4:51 PM, Neal Evenhuis wrote:

> FYI.
>> =====================
>> Richard Sietmann, Max Planck Society terminates licensing contract  
>> with
>> Springer publishing house
>> <http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/97652>, Heise Online,
>> October 19, 2007.
>> Following several fruitless rounds of talks the Max Planck
>> Society (MPG <http://www.mpg.de>) has, effective January 1, 2008,
>> terminated the online contract with the Springer publishing house  
>> which
>> for eight years now has given all institutes electronic access to  
>> some
>> 1,200 scientific journals. The analysis of user statistics and
>> comparisons with other important publishing houses had shown that
>> Springer was charging twice the amount the MPG still considered
>> justifiable for access to the journals, the Society declared. "And  
>> that
>> 'justifiable' rate is still higher than comparable offers of other  
>> major
>> publishing houses," a spokesman of the Max Planck Digital Library
>> <http://www.mpdl.mpg.de/>  told heise online....
>> According to the MPG the failure of the talks with Springer
>> marks "what for now is the high point" in a dispute with a number of
>> globally operating scientific publishing houses. The soaring  
>> prices in
>> the scientific information domain have already caused a change of
>> attitude in a number of players. Thus MPG is one of the initiators of
>> the "Berlin Declaration
>> <http://oa.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlindeclaration.html>  on Open
>> Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and the Humanities" -- the key
>> demand of which is open access to the results of publicly funded
>> research -- which to date has been signed by more than 240 scientific
>> organizations.
>> When publishing houses have the market power to charge excessive
>> prices and the legislator is unwilling to subject such inappropriate
>> behavior to any form of legal control the only course that remains is
>> for the scientific community to take matters into its own hands,  
>> the MPG
>> stated. "Even at the very last minute the Springer publishing  
>> house had
>> not been prepared to lower its inflated prices," MPG Vice  
>> President Kurt
>> Mehlhorn said. "The MPG therefore had had no other option but to
>> terminate the contract," he added.
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