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Scientific Societies' Publishing Arms Unite Against Open-Access Movement

:: Interesting piece from the 26 March 2004 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. As reported earlier, the Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science was announced on 16 March 2004. The Chronicle's take is that the DC Principles represents the 48 nonprofit groups as forming "a united front against the increasingly popular open-access movement.":

"It feels good to say everything should be free," says Martin Frank, executive director of the American Physiological Society and one of the organizers of the new coalition, in an interview. "But we'd rather get there using a business model different than the one used by PLoS and the open-access advocates. It's our contention that there's nothing wrong with that, that it makes the literature available to the community of individuals who need it, in a timely manner."

In their statement, the society publishers vowed to improve the efficiency and accessibility of the scientific literature. But they also argued that "publication fees should not be borne solely by researchers and their funding institutions, because the ability to publish in scientific journals should be available equally to all scientists, no matter what their economic circumstances."

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