Sat, 28 Jun 2003 04:27:19 GMT

More on the Sabo bill….Catherine Zandonella repo …. More on the Sabo bill….Catherine Zandonella reports the story in today’s issue of The Scientist. Excerpt: “Rep. Sabo drafted and introduced the bill after the PLoS approached him and explained that while federal tax dollars support research, access to the results is limited to scientists whose libraries can afford high subscription fees and to those lay people lucky enough to live near a public institutional library. ‘Most people are shocked when they find out they cannot access the results of studies that their tax dollars paid for,’ said Sabo’s legislative assistant Lisa Tomlinson, who was involved in writing the bill….Without copyright, journals would still be able to publish articles much as they do now, but they would not be able to control the distribution or republishing of the articles. Publishers say they need copyright in order to control a publication’s quality….Advocates of open access say that publishers should not own the copyright because the amount of work that the journal does?procuring peer review, editing, and laying out the article on the page?does not justify ownership. ‘Their [the publisher’s] contribution to the finished product pales in comparison to contributions from scientists and the general public,’ said Michael Eisen, cofounder of PLoS and a geneticist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley.” [FOS News]

It will be interesting to see how far this bill gets. I expect the Media Cartel to stomp it out. I hope I am wrong. I really hated having to turn over my roghts to the publisher in order to get a paper published. It meant that I could not include a copy of my paper on my own web site. This needs to change.