[Taxacom] Access to US Federally funded data?

Robin Leech releech at telusplanet.net
Fri Sep 19 22:00:21 CDT 2008

I don't think it would cover military stuff, for example.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Neal Evenhuis" <neale at bishopmuseum.org>
To: "Jim Croft" <jim.croft at gmail.com>
Cc: "TaxaCom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 7:33 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Access to US Federally funded data?

> At 12:10 PM +1100 9/20/08, Jim Croft wrote:
>>received this bit of unsolicited spam this morning but it seems to be 
>>is the issue real?
>>one of the more enlightened things to come out of the US legislature
>>was the principle that if the government of the people paid for data,
>>information and the tools to manage it then the people owned these
>>assets and the people must have free and open access to them.
>>is this about to change?
> An article on this just appeared in this week's Science.
> -Neal
> **************************
> Science 19 September 2008:
> Vol. 321. no. 5896, p. 1621
> DOI: 10.1126/science.321.5896.1621a
> House Weighs Proposal to Block Mandatory 'Open Access'
> Jocelyn Kaiser
> A controversial policy requiring researchers to make their papers
> freely available to the public at a U.S. National Institutes of
> Health (NIH) Web site is facing a potential roadblock. Last week,
> members of a powerful House committee held the first-ever
> congressional hearing on the policy and floated a proposal to
> overturn it.
> Three years ago, NIH began asking grantees to send the agency copies
> of their accepted, peer-reviewed manuscripts so that it can post them
> in its full-text PubMed Central archive within 12 months after they
> are published. But compliance was so poor that proponents of the idea
> persuaded the House and Senate appropriations committees to tell NIH
> to make the policy mandatory (Science, 18 January, p. 266). Many
> publishers protested, complaining that the "public access" policy
> infringes on their copyrights and will put them out of business by
> cutting into their subscription base.
> These critics have now found allies on the House Judiciary Committee.
> Last week at a 2-hour review of the policy, members of its
> Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property
> grumbled that by changing copyright rules, appropriators had
> overstepped their jurisdiction. Members heard testimony from both
> sides of the debate.
> Paper chase. More authors have been submitting their articles to NIH
> since its public-access policy became mandatory in April.
> NIH Director Elias Zerhouni argued that NIH simply wants to "maximize
> the return of our investment" of $400,000 per research grant. He
> emphasized that PubMed Central is enhancing the papers by linking
> them to other databases. "The real value is in the full
> connectivity," not "the passive document" in archives, he said. He
> noted that compliance with NIH's rule has risen since it took effect
> in April: Submissions are on track to reach 56% of the 80,000
> eligible papers per year, many submitted directly by journals (see
> graph, above). "There is no evidence that this has been harmful" to
> publishers, he argued. Open Access advocate Heather Joseph of the
> Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition in Washington,
> D.C., agreed. She argued that journals lose little by posting "old"
> papers 12 months after publication and noted that the policy applies
> to only NIH-funded studies.
> Others disagreed. Law professor Ralph Oman of George Washington
> University in Washington, D.C., argued that NIH's policy is a
> "dilution of the rights of the copyright owners" and "will destroy
> the commercial market" for science and technology journals.
> A bill introduced by Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers (D-MI)
> would bar any federal agency from requiring "the transfer or license"
> to the government of a work that has been produced in part with
> nongovernment funds or to which value has been added by the publisher
> through peer review. The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (HR
> 6845) would mean grantees could not be required to submit accepted
> papers to a free archive.
> Congress is not expected to act on the legislation before it adjourns
> later this month. Jonathan Band, a Washington, D.C., attorney who
> represents the American Library Association, which favors open
> access, says the bill is fatally flawed because of its sweeping
> provisions. "It goes far beyond the NIH policy. It limits a lot of
> what the federal government can do," he says. But Allan Adler, legal
> affairs director for the Association of American Publishers, which
> supports the bill, expects that both the House and Senate Judiciary
> Committees will examine the issue again next year. "This is really
> the beginning," Adler says.
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