In a recent hearing, Allan Adler, VP of Government and Legal Affairs for the American Association of Publishers, testified to a subcommittee of Congress regarding proposed free access to federally funded research.
Among other things, Mr. Adler stated that
- “there is no crisis in the world of scholarly publishing or in the dissemination of scientific materials”,
- “Peer-reviewed articles published in scholarly journals are not research, federally funded or otherwise”, and
- Publishers cover the costs “to ensure that [journals'] content is accurate, new, and important”, including the administration of peer review.
Mr. Adler concludes as follows:
We urge members of Congress to view implementation of the NIH Public Access Policy as a case study in how not to proceed. The effort to solve a problem that didn’t exist is threatening job creation, economic growth, and scientific innovation in our country.”
This testimony is being met with sharp critique from the academic and information communities. Barbara Fister, librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, posted a summary of and response to Mr. Adler’s comments on her blog.
What do you think about this debate? Would the publishing industry be undermined by open access to articles based on federally funded research?