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New Bill Would Repeal NIH Open Access Policy

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the knowledge-is-power dept.

United States 223

pigah writes "The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act has been reintroduced into Congress. The bill will ban open access policies in federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These policies require scientists to provide public access to their work if it has been funded with money from an agency with an open access policy. Such policies ensure that the public has access to read the results of research that it has funded. It appears that Representative John Conyers (D-MI), the author of the bill, is doing the bidding of publishing companies who do not want to lose control of this valuable information that they sell for exorbitant fees thereby restricting access by the general public to an essentially public good."

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let be the first to say (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855655)

YOU BASTARDS!

Re:let be the first to say (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856021)

>>>YOU DEMOCRAT BASTARD!

Fixed that for you. Why would a Democrat Conyers from Michgan want to close-off access to taxpayer-paid-for research? It should be public domain and available to all the U.S. People.

Re:let be the first to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856465)

>>>YOU MALE CAUCASIAN DEMOCRAT BASTARD!

Fixed that for you. You might want to narrow it down a bit more, however.

Re:let be the first to say (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856489)

Dumbass.

Conyers is African American/Black/Colored, whatever term you want to use.

I'm sooo glad you morons voted in Obama and an all Democrat congress.

Re:let be the first to say (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856093)

And let me be the first to say, "I told you so." I told you what would happen if the same party got control of the White House AND both houses of Congress, but you were so blinded by the Messiah's empty message of hope and change that you just kept fellating him in your minds over his every word. Now his message has strangely morphed to one of fear and panic as he and his cronies try to ram through a ruinous stimulus package that borrows $10,000 from every American family in order to create money out of thin air and further deplete the value of the dollar. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labors and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy."

Shame on you lazy, ignorant slobs. You've destroyed a once-great nation because you'd rather stand around with your fucking hand out saying, "gimmie!" Jefferson would never have believed in a million years that free people would willingly trade in their freedom for enslavement by unpayable debt. Fuck all you lazy faggots!!!

Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (4, Informative)

cs668 (89484) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855699)

I've gotten so cynical in my old age that I just expect this now, it doesn't even disappoint anymore, we've got the best government money can buy!!!

I voted for the Dem's this time around, but they're just as bad. Lying on their taxes, getting free drivers/limos, getting million $$ speaking deals as payoffs, and then getting their payoff from special interests to vote against the public good. They just get their payoffs from different groups.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (4, Interesting)

jessica_alba (1234100) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855765)

perhaps we should outsource our entire government to buddhist monks

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (4, Funny)

krygny (473134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855803)

"perhaps we should outsource our entire government to buddhist monks"

Those crooks?!!

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856213)

perhaps we should outsource our entire government to buddhist monks

No, the solution is to limit the government's powers. When we give the feds the power to regulate everything imaginable, lots of special interests are going to bribe congressmen to tweak the regulations their way. And "pay to play" will become the norm. Power corrupts. When you concentrate it in one city (Washington), that's where all the dirt collects. Unfortunately, too many voters think that utopia will come from Washington, DC. The Democrat majority is only to happy to play into that delusion.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856651)

But then we'd be in serious trouble if we ever had to go to war.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (2, Insightful)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855775)

because the only way to get votes is not being smart/capable/listening to what the people want

but campaining/throwing tons of money at it. and there's only one source for that kind of money, so what do you expect?

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856089)

Ban all contributions unless they come from individuals, and limited to $1000 or less.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (3, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856391)

Good idea, but add the provision that a person could donate money ONLY to a candidate he was eligible to vote for. That way, money from outside the area (local, county, state) couldn't influence an election.

We've had problems with money coming in from other states influencing our gubernatorial elections, and money from other counties influencing our county commission elections. Why should someone who lives 500 or 1000 miles away have a say in a local election?

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (2, Interesting)

Malenx (1453851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856685)

No, make all contributions to federal candidates go into a common political fund that is distributed to all runners in a fair spread. Constant revision of income is based on popularity voting run by federal independent program. All contributions to state candidates go into the same system except on a state level and are spread to all parties involved. All contributions must go through the federal organization are are available to view online at anytime.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855801)

The difference between the Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats cost more. Look it up.

Republicans cost FAR more. (4, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855881)

Republicans cost FAR more. Do some research: U.S. government debt [futurepower.org] . During the administration of George W. Bush, 5 trillion dollars [treasurydirect.gov] of debt was added to U.S. government debt.

Re:Republicans cost FAR more. (3, Informative)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855911)

Ummm... try again. The President does not set the budget. He may suggest what he wants, but it is CONGRESS who holds the purse strings. Better take a look who was in charge of Congress during those years.

Uh, that doesn't help us... (5, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855979)

The President does not set the budget. He may suggest what he wants, but it is CONGRESS who holds the purse strings

The Budget is a law that the President may veto. During the years when Republicans ran all three branches of government (with of course the usual level of compromise in the Senate as they never had the 60 votes), Bush NEVER vetoed anything. He exerted no discipline over his own party, pretty mortgaging whatever political capital he had to get funding for his war.

Better take a look who was in charge of Congress during those years.

Republicans were. That's why there were so many independents that remembered Clinton's balanced budgets who voted for Obama, hoping he would continue the Clintonian fiscal restraint and prudent government. Clinton actually identified the budget deficit as an obstacle to economic recovery in 1991 and he was right to close that gap. By taking new Treasuries off of the market, investors had to look for other places to put their capital and they put it in the stock market. Now, the government borrows money hand over fist, the money goes there, and now we see completely economic irrationality when companies like Intel and Microsoft, that essentially have monopolies in growth industries, pay dividends, make profits hand over fist, and still wind up getting their market valuation tanked.

Re:Uh, that doesn't help us... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856119)

Republicans controlled the House when Bush took over in 1992...barely with 221 seats. They held control of the house for 6 of Bush's 8 years.

The Senate was tied when Bush took over giving Republicans effective control with Cheney the tie breaking vote...for four months until Jim Jeffords jumped sides and gave the Democrats control of the Senate...against the will of the American voters in the previous election. Republicans regained Senate control in 2002 and lost it in 2006.

So there is plenty of blame on both sides for the spending orgy under Bush.

You speak of Clinton as some great leader on budget deficits. His proposed budget in 1992 showed deficit spending without reduction for the foreseeable future. Since Democrats controlled both the House and Senate he got what he proposed. In 1994 the Republican revolution took control of both houses of congress. Suddenly Clinton talked about the era of big government being over in his next state of the union. Clinton was a master of going with the political winds...whichever way the politics, or Monica blew.

Re:Uh, that doesn't help us... (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856411)

You speak of Clinton as some great leader on budget deficits. His proposed budget in 1992 showed deficit spending without reduction for the foreseeable future.

This is simply not true. Clinton ran on budget deficit reduction as part of his campaign for 1992. I read his campaign book. He promised a balanced budget by the end of his second term, and he delivered it.

The fact of the matter is this, despite all rhetoric, any other way, Republicans have been terrible at balanced budgets. Reagan was terrible, Bush the elder was terrible, and Bush Jr was by far the worst.

Re:Uh, that doesn't help us... (0)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856477)

This is simply not true. Clinton ran on budget deficit reduction as part of his campaign for 1992. I read his campaign book. He promised a balanced budget by the end of his second term, and he delivered it.

Well, no. Look carefully at the amount of DEBT, not the Deficit. The National Debit increased every year Clinton was in office. There was no deficit one year, because fancy bookkeeping allowed the deficit (difference between income and outgo) to be negative while the Debt (cumulative difference between income and outgo) to increase.

Re:Uh, that doesn't help us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856475)

During the years when Republicans ran all three branches of government (with of course the usual level of compromise in the Senate as they never had the 60 votes), Bush NEVER vetoed anything. He exerted no discipline over his own party, pretty mortgaging whatever political capital he had to get funding for his war.

And this is one of the things that turned me from a Bush supporter to someone who ended up very disappointed. He and the Republicans in general. They are supposed to stand for small, limited government - but these days, they're just as pro-government as the liberals are. Really sickens me. I, and many people I know, don't feel that we have any representation in Washington for our views anymore. I hate to sound like the stereotypical young adult Slashdotter, but right now the Libertarian party seems to be the best bet anymore - even if there are whackos like Ron Paul in the spotlight.

Re:Republicans cost FAR more. (5, Informative)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856305)

Republicans cost FAR more. Do some research: U.S. government debt. During the administration of George W. Bush, 5 trillion dollars of debt was added to U.S. government debt.

Ummm... try again. The President does not set the budget. He may suggest what he wants, but it is CONGRESS who holds the purse strings. Better take a look who was in charge of Congress during those years.

And Republicans held a majority in Congress for six of those eight years, and notoriously did whatever the President wanted. This does not bolster your counter-argument.

It's the rate of spending that worries. (1, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855937)

Republicans cost FAR more.

It's true, Bush was just terrible with the budget deficits, but the dirty secret is that he's been running like Keynes ever since the tech bubble burst to keep the economy rolling.

What's interesting is that Obama looks to add 800billion dollars of deficit spending in his first thirty days, and that spending does not cover even a fraction of the cost of his pending social initiatives, from national health care to alternative energy. Indeed, even as Obama touts a green economy, every biodiesel plant in the USA is on the verge of going bankrupt or shutting down under his watch.

Re:Republicans cost FAR more. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856001)

Well, add it all up and the Democrats will have spent a couple trillion dollars in a few months' time and then not tracked what it was used for. I think we have a record.

Re:Republicans cost FAR more. (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856043)

I didn't mean what they cost us in the budget. I meant what it costs to buy them. Bribing Democrats is generally more expensive. Look at what the campaign contributions cost and how they vote, then come back.

Re:Republicans cost FAR more. (2, Informative)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856059)

According to the estimate produced by the Congressional Budget Office [heritage.org] , the total cost for the `stimulus` bill that the Democrats just forced through is going to be about $3.27 Trillion over the next ten years. In comparison, that's more than the entire projected cost of the Iraq War according to the Washington Post. If you really believe that Democrats spend less than Republicans, I would encourage you join the rest of us in reality.

dems vs republicans (3, Insightful)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856413)

so, one group spent more money in attempting to secure the financial health & fiscal saftey of it's own nation.
population 305 million

The other group spent less than that- on an unpopular invasion of a foreign country of 29.2 million..

but hey! the second group did spend less money!

Re:dems vs republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856683)

Iraq wasn't an invasion, silly liberal. It was a liberation of Kuwait, and of suspected weapons of mass destruction. Unless I see real proof (and not typical liberal tinfoil hat warantless speculation) that this wasn't so, I'll continue to believe it.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856473)

Jesus, this is the type of partisan politics that needs to go away. Just because the other guy costs more doesn't mean you don't cost too much yourself.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856615)

The difference between the Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats cost more. Look it up.

The only (significant) difference between the Democrats and Republicans is that they are spelled differently. It's like this; let's pretend they are of a different genus (it would go a long way to explaining certain things). Call the genus Politicus. This creature is typically six foot tall, hunch over, perpetually hungry and eats its own young. There are several species, Democratus and Republicus along with a smattering of rarer species of little ecological import such as the Naderus and the Ronpaulus.

While in fact separate species, they do occasionally interbreed to make a sterile hybrid call and Independus.

Politici are very aggressive and tend to wipe out any other life form they come in contact with. Other creatures shun them with avidity and so they are often found in hovels called "Capitals" where they can ply their horrid lifestyle without outside interference.

While some biologists feel they are sentient, the vast majority of Right Thinking Persons puts them just above cockroaches on the evolutionary ladder. An expedition is planned into the larger of the Capitols later this year to capture a couple and see if they have enough DNA worth sequencing.

Only experts with many years of experience can tell the difference between the various species. It is largely considered a mere academic exercise with no functional utility.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856665)

The difference between the Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats cost more

So you are saying the Republicans are cheaper whores than Demorcrats. Watch out for those cheap whores, you never know what you might catch.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855863)

People are people. Democrats, republicans, independents, whatever - they are all fundamentally the same. It would be silly to think that democrats and republicans have different ethics just based on their party affiliation.

Where you start to see differences is in policies. Democrats and republicans come from two very different philosophies that govern their approach to public office. This is obvious, so I won't explain it.

One other thing - they are elected by two different segments of the population. I think in general, democrats are smarter -or at least they elect smarter candidates. (How else do you explain George Bush being RE-ELECTED in 2004?)

The bottom line is that it's stupid to use ethics as a proxy for political judgments (or rather, judgments of political figures). Yes, democrats have as bad of ethics as republicans - BUT it does not mean that voting democrat is just as bad as voting republican. Right now I think it's easy to see that the republican party is rotten at the core. Democrats are fixing things up right now. Please don't use ethics as an excuse for saying you made an equally bad choice. You didn't. It's still important to take responsibility for your vote (and not just narrowing your focus to something as MEANINGLESS as ethics).

--> Yes, I did say MEANINGLESS -because for political figures, it's less important what they think and more important what they do. A 100% corrupt politician who listens to his/her best advisors in pure self-interest is much better for the USA than a misguided but ethical politician who routinely makes bad judgment calls.

Sadly, any declared policies are irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856077)

> Where you start to see differences is in [DECLARED] policies.

You missed a word out, corrected it for you.

Unfortunately, regardless of what they declare, they all do exactly the same crap.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856137)

The Dem's are just as bad? At least the Republicans aren't HYPOCRITES. The Dem's smile at you as they steal the shirt off your back.

Re:Why are they so easyly bought or manipulated (1, Redundant)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856461)

I voted for the Dem's this time around, but they're just as bad

Some of this have been saying this for years, but we get dismissed as "libertards" even if we say we think the Libertarian party is too extremist. And this much of this sort of schoolyard behavior comes from people with advanced degrees. So many of them are progressives who seem to think even a healthy distrust of concentrated power (government) is some sort of insanity. If you press them on it, you might get some hand waving about "yes, yes, we need to do something or other about waste and mumble mumble...", but you can tell they just don't give a shit about anything other than sticking religiously to the ideological line.

So, we get trillion dollar bailouts no one has actually read, and (here in California) tax increases in the middle of a near depression without a *single* layoff off a government employee. And they call *me* insane for asking for more oversight and a less corruption.

This may sound simplistic (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855703)

But my opinion was always if the taxpayers pay for it, the taxpayers own it. Research, patents and discoveries and even software. At a minimum the government should be able to transfer licenses from one branch to another. If your research is that valuable, don't take federal money. A lot of universities are taking federal money for research and then selling those discoveries to companies that sell them back to the taxpayers. It's not always that clean but it just doesn't seem right.

If you don't like the restrictions, don't sell to the government. I love the way so many institutions, lately including banks, are acting like they're doing us a favor taking federal money. And there's always someone who will yap about government wouldn't be able to get access the best software tools. I doubt that. I'm not talking about making anything the government buys open source, just that government can move software licenses around based on need.

Funny a legislator from Michigan would be the tool of the publishing industry. I didn't realize textbooks were big business up there.

It sounds simplistic because it is. (3, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855889)

But my opinion was always if the taxpayers pay for it, the taxpayers own it. Research, patents and discoveries and even software.

They do, in exactly the same sense that the taxpayers own Navy destroyers, which is to say, collectively, with no individualized control.

If your research is that valuable, don't take federal money. A lot of universities are taking federal money for research and then selling those discoveries to companies that sell them back to the taxpayers. It's not always that clean but it just doesn't seem right.

That's not what's happening, nor is it federal money being taken. Federally-funded research products lead to patentable inventions. Those patents are held by the government. In order to make that research commercially valuable, additional research is needed and private investment is required to bring the research to a marketable level of maturity. In turn, private entities agree to fund the necessary further research, without which the first sets of patents are worthless.

If it's a 10 step process from theory to application and the federal project accomplishes the first four steps, and a private party comes in and develops 5 through 10, including patentable material, they have the right to that patent same as anyone else. Sometimes, a corporation will agree to continue/complete the research and pay the government for an exclusive license, which in turn funds further government research projects.

If you had a proposal to do the research for free, complete the project for free, and freely license the results, you would be an attractive bidder for the exclusive license. In the real world, though, no one ever makes such a proposal, so the whole notion is academic.

You've got $100 million to spend on research. Government projects don't care about commercialization, which is a difficult, time consuming, and expensive process. The end result is one of two basic scenarios: (1) everybody gets a fair chance at the fruits of the research, and it's the standard patent race to see who can fill in the gaps first, or (2) private party partners with the government, writes a check that (more than) covers the taxpayer expenditure on the research, and gets an exclusive license (but not ownership of the patent).

The second scenario, so often shortsightedly maligned, generates money for further public research. In effect, when a company purchases the project, it is as if they funded it directly themselves. They get a license to it with varying levels of restrictions, which serves the public interest better than actually granting ownership of the patent, and the upside to this restriction for the corporations is that they didn't bear the risk of the research failing. It's a win-win situation plainly visible for anyone who doesn't have his head up his ass.

If you don't like the restrictions, don't sell to the government.

And here you go off the rails entirely. Sell what to the government? Banks? What? Wouldn't be able to access what? Seriously, think things out before posting, people.

Re:It sounds simplistic because it is. (1)

Adam Hazzlebank (970369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856277)

If your research is that valuable, don't take federal money. A lot of universities are taking federal money for research and then selling those discoveries to companies that sell them back to the taxpayers. It's not always that clean but it just doesn't seem right.

That's not what's happening, nor is it federal money being taken. Federally-funded research products lead to patentable inventions. Those patents are held by the government. In order to make that research commercially valuable, additional research is needed and private investment is required to bring the research to a marketable level of maturity. In turn, private entities agree to fund the necessary further research, without which the first sets of patents are worthless.

Sure, I guess the issue is that there are different models for doing that. If researchers didn't patent an invention but simply published the idea openly those inventions are highly likely to still make it in to products. Quite regularly in fact a company will develop a product without holding the patents and only acquire them once they've proved the concept.

Without the patents those ideas would be in the public domain. The researchers would be providing a service which provides inventions to industry and the public on an open bases. Note, I'm not saying this would be a better model but it's a possible way of distributing the IP without patents.

Essentially what patent protection does is insure that the funding body or researcher who developed the invention gets something back. That keeps some of the money generated within the country that funded the project. So for example you can't end up with the situation that the US government funds a project, it gets exploited in the Japan and the US gets nothing. In the current model, US develops it, Japanese company wishes to exploit it they have to buy rights to the invention.

Re:It sounds simplistic because it is. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856291)

I think you've taken him too literally.

He probably meant to say, "If you don't like the restrictions, don't accept money from the government." The same principal applies to the States. Oftentimes Congress will tie restrictions to dollars. For example: requiring the drinking age be raised from 18 to 21 for any state who receives highway funds. The States have the option to not accept the highway money from Congress, and therefore be free from the restriction. The same is true for medical research companies.

BTW I think it's stupid you can be drafted to die in war, but not drink beer. It's like the government is saying, "We'll use you to stop bullets, but heaven forbid you drink alcohol to dull the pain."

NIH (0, Troll)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855707)

I don't see what the big deal is. It's not like this institution is a great source of progress or innovation. I don't think anything of value will be lost. I mean, even look at their acronym: Not Invented Here.

This is silly. (4, Informative)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855711)

As a scientist, I don't own the notebooks, datasets, reports and publications I produce with grant funding. The only reason publishers take claim of these articles is because of a copyright transfer agreement article writers must sign when submitting papers to reputable journals. As academics (slowly) move to open format journals, which sustain themselves editorially and through the publications they receive, this will become less of a concern.

Re:This is silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855849)

As a scientist, I don't own the notebooks, datasets, reports and publications I produce with grant funding. The only reason publishers take claim of these articles is because of a copyright transfer agreement article writers must sign when submitting papers to reputable journals.

This makes no sense. If you don't own these articles you can't assign ownership of them to a publisher. However many forms you sign.

Or are you admitting that you routinely defraud publishers by selling them things that you claim to own but in fact don't?

Re:This is silly. (4, Insightful)

RDW (41497) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855943)

Yes, the journals have a great business model (for them) right now:

- Publish expensive journal that libraries have little choice about subscribing to.
- Receive free content from scientists.
- Force scientists to transfer copyright.
- Get other scientists to to the hard work of reviewing the articles for free.
- Add 'page charges' for the privilege of publication.
- Add extra charges for colour figures (though most articles are downloaded, coloured electrons are more expensive).
- Charge the authors again for reprints.
- Whine about 'unfair competition' from Open Access.
- Pay off our democratic representatives.
- Profit!

Re:This is silly. (1)

beanyk (230597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856383)

For the journals I've dealt with, extra charges are only for colours in the printed version.

in my area this is quickly being overturned (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856519)

The expensive-journal commercial publishers don't have much of a competitive moat: anyone can publish PDFs on the internet with the word "Journal" attached to groups of them, and you've got a journal. If that anyone is well-respected in the field and the PDFs are hosted by a well-known university that also prints off some paper copies for archival, you've got yourself a new journal.

In my area this revolt against the commercial publishers has been quite rapid and successful. The entire board of editors [sigir.org] left the journal Machine Learning in 2000, setting up the non-profit, open-access JMLR [mit.edu] instead, which is now at least as prestigious (possibly moreso). In more general AI, the open-access, non-profit JAIR [jair.org] now has a much higher impact factor than the old Elsevier journal in the area, "Artificial Intelligence".

Re:This is silly. (5, Funny)

javilon (99157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856527)

Yes, the journals have a great business model (for them) right now:

- Publish expensive journal that libraries have little choice about subscribing to.
- Receive free content from scientists.
- Force scientists to transfer copyright.
- Get other scientists to to the hard work of reviewing the articles for free.
- Add 'page charges' for the privilege of publication.
- Add extra charges for colour figures (though most articles are downloaded, coloured electrons are more expensive).
- Charge the authors again for reprints.
- Whine about 'unfair competition' from Open Access.
- Pay off our democratic representatives.
- Profit!

This is one of the few ocasions where a complete and working business plan shows at Slashdot, without the ??? step.

Congratulations!

Re:This is silly. (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856619)

Actually, most journals will let you skip the charges and have grey pictures in the print version and color pictures in the online version.

A few major research institutions have made a push toward cutting out the expensive journals, since some companies (Elsevier) have exorbitant charges.

Donkeys screw us over too! Woo hoo! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855723)

Oh yeah, voting for Democrats was just gonna make thing allllllllright, huh?

Let's see how long it takes for the Slashdot lefties to come up with an excuse why this is a good thing because a Democrat is behind it.

Re:Donkeys screw us over too! Woo hoo! (2, Insightful)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855903)

It's not good, it's the lesser of two evils. Ludicrously restrictive intellectual property laws are purely a bureaucratic problem and can be reversed fairly easily. It's a preferable to have to deal with that sort of problem rather than wars, climate change, piss-poor education standards.... and so on.

Re:Donkeys screw us over too! Woo hoo! (1)

syntaxglitch (889367) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856005)

It's not good, it's the lesser of two evils. Ludicrously restrictive intellectual property laws are purely a bureaucratic problem and can be reversed fairly easily. It's a preferable to have to deal with that sort of problem rather than wars, climate change, piss-poor education standards.... and so on.

Not to mention, that there are two tried and true methods for working around overrestrictive copyright laws:

  • Create and use material following an open source model; the more onerous copyright becomes for people, the more attractive stuff like Creative Commons becomes.
  • Pirate stuff. Yeah, some people will whine about ohhhhh, you're breaking the law; but when chances of being caught are very low and the media cartels are aggressively ceding the moral high ground to the pirates, who gives a crap? Send a few bucks anonymously to the artist if you want, it's more than they ever would have gotten from the cartels if you'd bought legit.

Now, patents are a different matter...

Well, of course! (4, Funny)

Xeth (614132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855733)

Publishing companies need to make enormous amounts of money so they can do important things like:
  • Paying researchers top dollar for important publications
  • Offering large emoluments for Reviewers
  • Hiring top-notch editors to perform quality typesetting
  • Host powerful commercial publishing access sites, as universities, libraries, and professional organizations are simply unwilling to pitch in.

~

Re:Well, of course! (2)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855829)

You forgot

- Develop and maintain quality software for editing, typesetting and desktop publishing. This is essential for technical work! who is going to write software for typesetting equations, I ask you, if not the big publishing houses?

Re:Well, of course! (4, Insightful)

Adam Hazzlebank (970369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855867)

I smell sarcasm but just in case there are people reading who don't know how academic publishing works...

Publishing companies need to make enormous amounts of money so they can do important things like:

  • Paying researchers top dollar for important publications

Scientific authors don't get paid for publications. Often the author has to pay a publication charge for in order to get published. In particular if you have color figures, you often have to pay extra.

Offering large emoluments for Reviewers

Referees don't get paid either, they do it out of the kindness of their hearts. :) Actually why they do it is a bit of a mystery, but it keeps you connected with the academic community.

Hiring top-notch editors to perform quality typesetting

Many journal force authors to fiddle with their manuscript endlessly until the formatting meets the journals specification.

Host powerful commercial publishing access sites, as universities, libraries, and professional organizations are simply unwilling to pitch in.

Not sure what this means...

Since you seem to know how this works... (2, Insightful)

syntaxglitch (889367) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855945)

I've long wondered--what is it that academic journals DO, precisely? They don't seem to provide any services that a vanity press couldn't do better and cheaper.

Is there something I'm unaware of that they merely overcharge massively for, or are they actually the complete and total parasites that they sound like?

Re:Since you seem to know how this works... (2, Insightful)

RDW (41497) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855977)

"Is there something I'm unaware of that they merely overcharge massively for"

'Reputation'

"or are they actually the complete and total parasites that they sound like?"

Pretty much.

Re:Since you seem to know how this works... (2, Informative)

fruitbane (454488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855989)

Well, the journals with good reputations lend weight. An extremely highly respected journal like Nature or PNAS lends credibility to the study by publishing it. Better journals theoretically have a more careful peer review process and publish higher quality works.

I guess the bottom line is, anyone can start a journal and accept papers, but how do you convince people to referee, considering they don't get paid? How do you make sure you get only good papers? If you publish crap papers your journal will get a reputation for crap and your journal and submitters will have little impact.

So while there is a "house of cards" aspect to it all, its the academic system of article "impact", reputation, quality, and tenure that does much to drive this situation.

Re:Since you seem to know how this works... (4, Informative)

Adam Hazzlebank (970369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856155)

I've long wondered--what is it that academic journals DO, precisely? They don't seem to provide any services that a vanity press couldn't do better and cheaper.

Is there something I'm unaware of that they merely overcharge massively for, or are they actually the complete and total parasites that they sound like?

They basically provide quality control by making sure that the peer review process happens. A good journal will first screen out a lot of papers that are entirely unsuitable, they'll then find relevant experts in the field to review the paper. You're paper wont get published unless the referee's think it's good enough. So they manage that process. That process is attractive to authors because a good journal garners a lot of respect in the scientific community. More than that it effects how much funding the university gets (universities often get more government funding if they maintain staff with high impact publications). If you want to know more about how impact is measured look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_factor [wikipedia.org] . Impact factor is a fairly stupid way to measure the quality of a paper, but it's what people do. Hopefully we will move towards citation counts or some similar metric, but essentially all these metrics are quite coarse.

But, back to the main point. Journals do provide a useful service in managing the peer review process. And yes they massively overcharge for that service and often force you to assign copyright to them so they can extract as much money as possible from your work. That's part of the reason people are now looking towards open access... however ironically open access tends to end up costing the author more (as the journal can no longer charge subscription fees they charge higher publication fees).

Re:Since you seem to know how this works... (5, Informative)

rnaiguy (1304181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856511)

Top journals like Science and Nature have gotten much better with copyright, allowing authors to maintain copyright over their papers, and releasing content for free after some time (usually ~12 months). Also, personal subscriptions to the top journals (honestly, i don't know of anyone who reads through whole journals other than science, nature, and maybe 1 specialty journal) come down to $5 per issue. It tends to be the small specialists journals and publishers that get nasty with copyright. One of these publishers made us jump through hoops for permission to reprint a figure from an older review in a newer one. The best part is that we were publishing the new review with the same publisher! Also, does anyone know if the current open access policy covers review papers? Those would be of most value to the average taxpayer I believe.

Re:Since you seem to know how this works... (4, Informative)

rmcd (53236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856573)

Let me elaborate on some of the replies you've received. I think there's a social component that needs to be understood. For background: I was an editor for a few years, have been an associate editor (responsibilities of this position can be significant or minimal, depending on the journal), and referee a reasonable number of papers.

The best academics view themselves as part of a community to which they can contribute and which in turn makes it possible for them to do the work they want to do (by funding their research, for example). One measure of the value of an academic is the number of others who cite their work. Everyone thinks about citation counts. Authors want to publish in journals that are heavily cited and journals want to publish papers that will be heavily cited. It's not just that top journals publish the best papers, it's also that the best academics send their papers first to the top journals. This creates tremendous inertia in the pecking order of journals with the result that it's *very* hard to raise the perception of a journal's quality. Journal quality is a consideration when publications are evaluated by tenure committees, because journal quality is a rough screen for the quality of the paper. It is not a perfect screen, but it is informative.

In many cases editors and referees are paid nothing or minimally, and they view themselves as contributing to this community. The best editors are generally highly-regarded academics who think that it is important to publish high-quality papers that others will find useful, i.e. papers that will contribute to the community. In deciding what to publish they use their judgment and they also rely heavily on reviewers. The reviewers in turn try to do a good job because the editors recognize the higher-quality reviewers --- they may ask them to serve on editorial boards, they will write them positive letters at a tenure review, they may take treat their papers more carefully when deciding what to publish.

There are lots of ways this process can fail: entrenched editors play favorites, referees suck up to editors and authors whose papers they review (even if the process is anonymous, reviewers sometimes reveal themselves informally), there is a "good old boy" network with favoritism, and sometimes outright mistakes get made. But by and large the process works astonishingly well, with the majority of players trying to do the "right" thing. It shouldn't work as well as it does, but OSS shouldn't work as well as it does either.

The publishers provide continuity in this process. You want to make sure, for example, that a paper published today will be available in 20 years; that if the editor gets hit by a bus, there is institutional backing to keep things going; that the journal has a quality web presence, etc.

Some publishers are leeches and I am appalled that the NIH access policy might be changed. But I think it will be a while before academia moves to a more open model. There will continue to be a need for a process to certify quality, and there will be a need for long-term access. Commercial journals, with all their flaws, do fill those needs.

Re:Well, of course! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856185)

Host powerful commercial publishing access sites, as universities, libraries, and professional organizations are simply unwilling to pitch in.

Not sure what this means...

The point is that there is a huge mass of free hosting (whoever actually pays for it) for scientific and technical literature. There are a number of open internet journals which provide free peer-reviewed publishing but they do not have the cachet of the for-pay dead-tree operations.

Re:Well, of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856179)

It is not fully related to the current topic, but I fund this article should be read by any scientist. It gives an economic view of publishing practices. In my opinion it gives some background to better understand what is treated here.

N S Young, J P A Ioannidis, O Al-Ubaydli. Why Current Publication Practices May Distort Science. PLoS Medicine

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050201

How to handle the corruption of John Conyers. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855745)

There is a simple answer to the corruption of John Conyers [house.gov] . Call his offices:
* Washington Office: 202-225-5126
* Detroit Office: 313-961-5670
* Trenton / Downriver Office: 734-675-4084

Be caring. Be friendly. Be authoritative. Tell the person who answers the phone that his sponsoring of a bill requiring closed government is corruption. Tell that person that he or she should not work for someone who wants government corruption. Try to convince that person to get a better job.

Once several members of his staff quit, John Conyers will no longer be as much of a threat.

Work to make sure John Conyers is never re-elected to anything.

The U.S. government is VERY corrupt. Join with me in stopping the corruption.

Re:How to handle the corruption of John Conyers. (2, Informative)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856389)

Note that they are not going to care unless you are in his district.

Of course if you DO happen to live in his district, this means even MORE so that you should call.

Re:How to handle the corruption of John Conyers. (3, Informative)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856521)

Mod parent up. A relevant quote from DownsizeDC:

I hear it all the time: "Sending messages to Congress won't work." My first reaction is, "compared to what?"

In truth, "public pressure" has a fine track record . . .

        * How did segregation end? It ended because of public pressure.
        * Why did the Soviet Union collapse? In the end, it was because of public pressure.
        * Why did China move toward a free market economy? It was because of public pressure.

More to the point, Congress has voted the way we wanted 17 times since DownsizeDC.org was founded.

Sending messages online is good. Mail is better. Phone calls are best because they are timely and, if there are enough people calling, they can swamp the system, making it seem to those in the office that EVERYONE is against whatever measure they're calling in to rant about.

Participation is necessary for representation.

I think I'm gonna cry (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855747)

Okay, what went wrong? What happened? Has our government always been like this? Is there a single politician who won't be bought? How can we fix all this (not with these two parties, that's for sure). The Republicans have been bought by the religious and oil, and the Democrats have been bought by the copyright zealots and god-knows-who-else.

We need elections based on instant run-off or something so that third parties actually have a chance. I can't take this anymore. There needs to be some sort of fundamental change.

It seems like everything is ruined forever.

Re:I think I'm gonna cry (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855901)

Nothing happened, its been like this forever. The internet is just giving us access to news like this. Hopefully with this type of information getting out the people will eventually get fed up, but don't count on it.

Re:I think I'm gonna cry (4, Funny)

djseomun (1119637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855993)

Is there a single politician who won't be bought?

Yes. Ron Paul.

Re:I think I'm gonna cry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856311)

Won't be bought - but will let his newsletters be ghost-written by neo-Nazis, people with crackpot cancer cures and, of course, gold bugs.

Re:I think I'm gonna cry (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856053)

Is there a single politician who won't be bought?

Yes, they do exist in the US. I'm talking about folks like Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul: They very definitely stand for something, and don't compromise their principles. They're usually dismissed and ridiculed by "news" organizations.

For instance, no one would have asked Hillary Clinton during a debate if she'd seen a UFO. There's no good way to answer a question like that: if you say "no" all sorts of political hacks will try to prove that you did, and if you say "yes" you're treated like some sort of nut.

Re:I think I'm gonna cry (1)

FuzzyHead (86261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856607)

Yes, there's always a correct answer to diffcult/absurd question. To the UFO Question, you respond, "What do you mean by a UFO?" If you truly mean an Unidentified Flying Object, then yes I've seen some thing in the air that I can't identify, be they planes, weather balloons, etc. If you mean a ship with aliens on them, the answer is I don't think I've ever see one of those. Otherwise I would be able to identify it.

Only in America (TM) (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855751)

this is what happens when you let go of rules and regulations. the groups who want to prosper at the expense of everyone else goes berserk, and even tries to rob you of what you pay for.

balance is the key. government has to be a regulatory tool, a heavy handed hammer of ALL people against groups who seek privilege. that includes groups that seek to exploit free market principles by yelping and wanking 'deregulation' in order to propagate scams like wall street did in this hedge fund fraud.

before any holistic economists try to yelp the same criminal 'regulation is bad' line that alan greenspan et all yelped in the last 20 years, i want to warn them ; before you have any chance of doing that, you will have to explain me why we shouldnt let go of judiciary, police, and criminal law, if we were to let go of regulations in business.

because, they are in the same status - both are regulatory, order providing arrangements of rules and laws to ensure that noone pulls any shit on anyone else.

Re:Only in America (TM) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856205)

"government has to be a regulatory tool, a heavy handed hammer"

And then someone grabs the handle of the hammer, and you're back to square one, only worse. Nice job.

Re:Only in America (TM) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856415)

holistic economists try to yelp the same criminal 'regulation is bad' line that alan greenspan et all yelped in the last 20 years, i want to warn them ; before you have any chance of doing that, you will have to explain me why we shouldnt let go of judiciary, police, and criminal law, if we were to let go of regulations in business.

Actually you'll find a lot of people here on slashdot who are libertarians, some of us radically so. We believe in no state at all, that in fact, court systems, police systems, security systems would be far better handled entirely by the free market.

Thanks Dems! (1)

BigChigger (551094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855779)

We need more change.

the challenges of the current policy (4, Informative)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855787)

I am a federally funded researcher who administrates a program that publishes quite a bit. First off, I am a supporter of open access publishing. Here is our challenge with the current policy, and why it has been very difficult to adopt.

Open access journals cost between $1-3k per publication (see PLOS or BMC). These journals automatically submit papers to the public repository. This is a direct cost that comes out of my grants that may not have been originally budgeted. Now, closed access journals are generally free or close to free to publish. The new policy requires submission of closed access papers, by the authors, to the central repository (if federally funded). Obviously, this violates the agreement the author had with the publisher, so the author, on their own, must negotiate a legal mechanism to do this. Some publishers charge to do this, maybe more than $1k. Every submitted paper gets an ID that must be submitted with a progress report. When we publish 5-10 papers per progress report, this is frankly a lot of work and sometimes, we fund papers partially that are published by other groups. So it is up to me to encourage these groups to figure this out, so I can include them in my reports. More work, and it adds another level of complexity to collaboration.

So far, this has been an administrative headache, it is expensive and considering most major university libraries already have licenses to the closed data, it seems, to me, unnecessarily complicated. I wish they had required the publishers to do this (each publisher would have to work with one source) instead of the researcher, because we have to work with a number of publishers and that takes time in an already very, very competitive field.

There are some really great aspects of open access publishing and the power of the resulting knowledgebase of manuscripts is going to be really exciting, however, $10-20k/year for page charges is only going to result in less science, IMO.

Re:the challenges of the current policy (3, Interesting)

claus.wilke (51904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855913)

I totally agree. The current policy is broken. It looks good on paper, but creates major headaches for the researchers.

In my view, the NIH is taking the easy way out. Instead of negotiating with journals directly, NIH just puts the burden on the researchers to figure out, for every publication separately, what is the correct way to handle it.

To get a sense of the hoops you have to jump through to do it properly,
read e.g. this blog post by a person whose job it is to take care of pubmed central submissions. [tdl.org]

In practice, a highly productive lab would need an extra administrative person just to deal with these issues. That doesn't seem like a good way to spend research money to me.

SO we need a public research clearing house. (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856047)

So what you are really saying is that yes, you get paid enough to do the work but have no money to air the results in any meaningful way. So what we really need is a Research Data Office consisting of some number of research collectors. The collectors would basically be liased to the various institutions engaged in federal funding research and it would be their job to capture all of the particulars of all the experiments, load the steps and results into a federal database, which would then be available for public use. Scientists participating in federally funded research would be required to invest some time in peer review of this database, and in the very least the database could track of who has independently repeated an experiment set and achieved similar results. Traditional publishers, if they were American, could then cherry pick their favorite experiments for their own commercial use, as the data would be public domain, but the notes and particulars of the experiments would be available for everyone.

Re:SO we need a public research clearing house. (1)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856079)

I'm not sure I agree that we can't 'air results in any meaningful way.' However, I do think that public data repositories are something that should be explored, and are, btw, by most funding agencies. That is a bit of a different issue.

Re:the challenges of the current policy (4, Informative)

raaum (152451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856165)

You wrote that "most major university libraries already have licenses to the closed data", when you SHOULD have written "most major WEALTHY university libraries already have licenses to the closed data."

Even before the current economic problems, many public universities have been cutting journal subscriptions wholesale, and the trend is only increasing. I work at one of the campuses of the City University of New York and our journal subscriptions are abysmal. If you publish regularly in any of the more expensive commercial journals (outside of the very tip-top 5 or so in your field), I can guarantee you that your work is not being read as much as it perhaps should be at my institution.

Of course, the administrative and budgetary problems you describe with the current open access model are very real - I certainly don't have the budget to publish exclusively in these journals. Nonetheless, the ever-increasing costs of the commercial system are leading to some serious problems and contributing to a growing divide between the haves and the have-nots of the academic science world.

If there were only one or two commercial journals that I would like to access that my library does not subscribe to, I would be willing to bite the bullet and buy personal subscriptions, but I cannot afford to buy personal subscriptions to a dozen or more commercial journals.

While "$10-20k/year for page charges" may only "result in less science," it doesn't matter how much science you do if no one reads it... Instead of paying these charges out of our direct grant funds, our institutions need to make institution-wide deals with open access publishers out of our grant overhead (re-routing, for example, the money that they are currently spending on overpriced commercial journal subscriptions).

Re:the challenges of the current policy (1)

penrodyn (927177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856653)

I would like to add that I think open access has a number of beneficial side effects because of the costs involved. In my own work, if I think the paper isn't that significant or perhaps all aspects of the research haven't been investigated I will send it to the preprint archive at arxiv. However if I think it can get through peer review I will sent it to an open access journal. The fact that it will cost me 1k-3K to publish means that I am more inclined to write a longer paper and a more substantial one, in fact one idea is to consolidate a bunch of related ideas from my preprint papers. The fact that closed access journals are free means that the system has been abused with either mediocre paper being published or by encouraging paper slicing to maximize the number of papers published. In conclusion, I take the opposite view by suggesting that open access with associated costs, increases the quality of the science but also reduced the dross.

What a dipshit. (5, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855817)

Really - I mean *really* - you want to take research we fund explicitly for public enrichment, and deny public access to the results of that research on the basis of copyright interpretation?

There is no justification for slowing down the progress of science for the benefit of *publishers*.

Rep. Conyers, you truly are a dipshit of the highest caliber.

Re:What a dipshit. (2, Interesting)

vmcto (833771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856287)

Why does this suprise anyone. Congress has been preventing it's own taxpayer research from being made public for almost 30 years! If not for wikileaks and renegade congressional staffers these 6,780 reports [wikileaks.org] would never see the light of day.

A Million Barrel March? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855833)

Let's start to put some teeth behind "government of the people, by the people."

We do have that pesky 2nd Amendment to help us remind them.

But Wait... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855845)

I thought the Democrats represented "change" and "open government." I guess we can now add the word "liars" to that list.

Re:But Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856419)

You wouldn't know by the biased summary, but the bill is co-sponsored by Republicans. Don't let the facts stop the anti-Democrat hate fest though.

You Liberal Asses have (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855907)

put these people in power cause they were so much better then conservatives. Guess what you've been PUNKED by the very people you are a part of. Thanks for finishing off this country.

Go ahead and mark me as a troll, suppression of differing thought is the liberal way.

Re:You Liberal Asses have (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855991)

Don't act so fucking surprised when you get modded down for making a negative, unsubstantiated generalization about people who subscribe to a popular political ideology.

It has nothing to do with the liberal way, and everything to do with the fact that you're a self-satisfied idiot.

Re:You Liberal Asses have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856283)

No, submission of content-free flamebait is the Slashdot way.

I am, of course, not referring to the articles, just comments.

Government work non-copyrighed? (3, Informative)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26855919)

I was doing some research for a project on OSHA. As I understand it, works produced by the federal government cannot be copyrighted:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_of_the_United_States_Government [wikipedia.org]

However, on the OSHA web site, not a word is said as to the copyright status that I can find. So is it public domain or not?

I guess, in relation to TFA, copyright doesn't matter anyway, they just won't make it available to the public either way.

Transporter_ii

Re:Government work non-copyrighed? (1)

OfficeSupplySamurai (1130593) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856257)

Works produced by federal government employees during their jobs is in the public domain, which gets us for example great pictures from NASA that have no restrictions on use.

However, works produced by non-employees who simply receive federal funding has no such restriction. If the federal governments contracts out production of, say, a report, it will be under copyright, which can be assigned to the federal government. Thus we have the somewhat interesting situation wherein the federal government holds copyrights only on works they didn't produce.

Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26855951)

Interlibrary Loan. When I discovered that my local library would provide me with copies of journal articles through interlibrary loan, free of charge, it opened a whole new world of research opportunities.

I can't even access my own work... (2, Informative)

CupBeEmpty (720791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856013)

...in peer reviewed journals. That is unless someone pays a fat subscription fee on my behalf.

Some problems solve themselves, so will this. (4, Interesting)

minkie (814488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856087)

Slowly, the scientific world is starting to realize that they are no longer beholden to the publishing companies to distribute the results of their research.

A few days ago, at his first press conference, Barak Obama called on Sam Stein of the Huffington Post to ask a question. For those that don't understand the significance of this event, The Huffington post is a web-only newspaper. No paper.

Some day, the journal publishers will wake up, smell the coffee, and realize that the one essential step in the publishing process that they control, the hugely expensive printing presses, is no longer essential. Most of the value the journals add in the editorial arena (reviewing and editing) is done by the peers of the people who are submitting the articles. That same level of editorial review can just as easily happen on a web site, at far less cost. We're moving in that direction slowly, and if bills like this become law, that will just accelerate the pressure to move there.

New tag (1)

danwesnor (896499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856133)

Suggest adding a "Change!" tag for articles demonstrating that Democrat politicians are no different than Republican politicians.

I blame Bush...Somehow. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856145)

I blame Bush...Somehow.

blow up congress (an imaginary idea) (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856513)

Although I'd not wish such a horrible thing on people, I've wondered if such a calamity might actually have an upside.....

Diff between Republicans and Democrats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26856535)

Republicans go overseas to fuck people over.

Democrats stay home and fuck YOU over.

And you start to realize the left isn't your ally (1, Interesting)

rapierian (608068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26856543)

What's going on here is pretty simple to explain: Philosophically, the Slashdot community is probably pretty libertarian minded, but politically they tend to lean to the left, and here's why: The Republicans are a pretty big party, composed of a couple of different aspects. Essentially you've got your foreign policy hawks, your social conservatives, and your economic conservatives. For the past 20 years, the Republican party has been controlled mostly by the foreign policy hawks and the social conservatives, and the economic conservatives have remained only a steady undertone to the whole party's platform, but they've actually consistently remained there the whole time. They're the few who fight for limited government (even against the rest of their party oftentimes), clean and transparent government, against earmarks and pork (definitely against their own party oftentimes), and many of the other policies that Slashdotters (and Americans) in general seem to want. Slashdotters in general have fallen for the same BS that America as a whole fell for: the socially conservative/foreign policy hawk members of the Republican party proved to be somewhat corruptible - especially as that was an aspect of government that those Republicans didn't really care much about - so most members of the Slashdot community have done what seems to be the obvious choice, and embrace the main political opposition to the Republicans, the Democrats. Even though the Democrats stand for almost nothing the slashdot community values in government. Honestly, have you looked at the record of any Democratic politician? Take a look at how many nominations Obama's gone through that have corruption issues. Or how the Democrats have been running the stimulus bill through without letting anyone (even other Dems) get a good look at it. Or just look at the leaders of the party: Reid and Pelosi both have plenty of financial scandals, and yet America (and the slashdot community) somehow just looked past their actual records and took the "Culture of Corruption" bait in 2006 when the Democrats said they would operate a cleaner, more open government. What compounds the confusion is when America and Slashdot remember the few triumphs the economic conservatives have actually had in recent years. They get attributed to Clinton! When Newt Gingrich led the Republicans back into power in Congress in 1996, enough economic conservatives came to power that they were able to do two key things that the Americans loved: Pass a balanced budget, and reform welfare. The balanced budget led to a surplus (rather than a deficit) and welfare reform has been amazingly successful. And somehow they constantly get attributed to Clinton, even though he vetoed both multiple times until they were passed with veto proof majorities (and then he signed them so he could have his name attached in the off chance they worked).
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