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California Bill Would Mandate Open Access To Publicly Funded Research

timothy posted about a year ago | from the you-toss-me-the-idol-I-throw-you-the-funding dept.

Government 105

ectoman writes "This week, advocates of open access to publicly funded research are keeping an eye on California's Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act (AB 609), which could soon find its way to the California State Senate. The bill requires the final copy of any peer-reviewed research funded by California tax dollars to be made publicly accessible within 12 months of publication. If passed, the legislation would become the first state-level law mandating this kind of access. Opensource.com is featuring a collection of articles on open access publishing, which you can read while you await the verdict on AB 609."

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105 comments

It only makes sense (4, Insightful)

Terry Pearson (935552) | about a year ago | (#43861381)

We pay for it, why should some private party reap the rewards?

Re:It only makes sense (-1, Redundant)

oic0 (1864384) | about a year ago | (#43861417)

exactly, and if I had points id mod it up but I don't so I'll just reply.

Re:It only makes sense (2, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43861459)

Why, for profit of course.

If we let any old schmuck access it, that could undermine the ability to patent research paid for by someone else and/or be first to market.

And not charging for the access would put the publishers out of business, and we can't lose their valuable contributions to science.

Don't you know the role of publicly financed research is to enrich corporations? Why do you hate America?

Re:It only makes sense (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861759)

Someone has to take the research papers to give to the people! You don't want the scientists talking with the people! We have people skills!

Re:It only makes sense (4, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43861905)

Why, for profit of course.

If we let any old schmuck access it, that could undermine the ability to patent research paid for by someone else and/or be first to market.

And not charging for the access would put the publishers out of business, and we can't lose their valuable contributions to science.

Don't you know the role of publicly financed research is to enrich corporations? Why do you hate America?

That's right!

If it loses money, socialize it and use it as proof that government is a failure.

If it makes money, privatize it, give it to the Job Creators, and trumpet it as a triumph of the free market.

Re:It only makes sense (1)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#43863103)

The ability of corporations to generate massive profits through government bailouts, handouts and subsidies IS proof that government is a failure and a fundamentally corrupt institution.

If government is NOT a failure, then how is the arrangement you describe even possible?

Re:It only makes sense (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about a year ago | (#43863187)

Yes, but this is a case of government trying to fix itself.

The point he was making is that there will be public outcry about this from some corners, and those people are retarded.

Re:It only makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43863613)

If government is NOT a failure, then how is the arrangement you describe even possible?

Capitalism, cronyism, nepotism, and letting people who worked in the industries who caused the meltdown in the first place to be setting monetary policy.

It was people from Wall Street who got appointed to run the show who set the awful policies which led to this in the first place.

You know, an epic failure of the financial system caused by the people who think they know how it runs, and who value profit over accountability.

Your free market is a joke, it always has, and always will be an oligarchy. Government fails because it panders to that, not because of an inherent failing in government. Republicans just think it's perfectly normal to let multinational corporations run the show.

Re:It only makes sense (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43864601)

If government is NOT a failure, then how is the arrangement you describe even possible?

Capitalism, cronyism, nepotism, and letting people who worked in the industries who caused the meltdown in the first place to be setting monetary policy.

It was people from Wall Street who got appointed to run the show who set the awful policies which led to this in the first place.

You know, an epic failure of the financial system caused by the people who think they know how it runs, and who value profit over accountability.

Your free market is a joke, it always has, and always will be an oligarchy. Government fails because it panders to that, not because of an inherent failing in government. Republicans just think it's perfectly normal to let multinational corporations run the show.

There are some things that governments excel at, and some things that they do miserably.

There are some things that markets excel at, and some things that they do miserably.

There are some things that both of the above do miserably at and that entirely different approaches excel at.

The problem with so many people is that they expect one solution to be the silver bullet that works on everything. The proverbial "small child with a hammer" solution. Since the real world isn't so one-dimensional, most of their "solutions" therefore end up as miserable failures, which typically they then blame on something/someone else instead of recognizing that some other approach might have been better. And/or on not trying "their solution" hard enough - doubling-down. Clue: if your solution can only work in the absence of opposition, it's not a viable solution. Space travel works despite the existence of Flat-Earthers, not because there are no Flat-Earthers.

Banding together into parties and ideologies is a solution for the essential helplessness of the individual, but when a party or ideology has to be the sole solution to all problems, it has become a problem itself.

Re:It only makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43867565)

I would mod up, but I opted out of the mod system. Good post though.

Re:It only makes sense (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#43867231)

The government, as bought and paid for by an ever-increasing stream of corporate money, is a big success. Huge, even. That it no longer serves the populace that it was created to serve is indicative of the failure of that populace to recognize this state of affairs and to care enough to do something about that. Instead, we have spent the better part of the last three decades dithering about things like gay marriage, gun control, and abortion.

Re:It only makes sense (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861467)

Because the government benefitting the people is communist, corrupt, inefficient and anti-capitalist.

Think of the free market!

Re:It only makes sense (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#43861657)

If you think that anything of any commercial value is going to be published without a "patent applied for/patent #xxxx" already attached, and/or a spinoff company founded by one or more of the authors, then you're not paying any attention at all to history. Silicon Valley is full of companies started by Stanford docs and post-docs, as a simple example.

Re:It only makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861879)

like Google, Yahoo!, and possibly Facebook if you count undergrad work.

Re:It only makes sense (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43861713)

Not saying this is a bad idea, but you reap the rewards via invented cures and whatnot. Government isn't the only one investing in most of this, and you may slow things down by eviscerating exclusivity.

The cure is the reward.

Re:It only makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861751)

Not saying this is a bad idea, but you reap the rewards via invented cures and whatnot. Government isn't the only one investing in most of this, and you may slow things down by eviscerating exclusivity.

The cure is the reward.

Yeah. Just look what it did to polio vaccination.

Re:It only makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861845)

Regardless of the government being the only one investing in research or not, the publishers don't invest a cent into research and never have.

Re:It only makes sense (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#43862065)

Well, the devil is in the details. Often public money only covers part of the cost of research. Both private entities and universities themselves (from licensing revenue) frequently contribute funds to various projects too.

That being said, I suspect this bill would have little negative impact. Journals might worry about institutions that normally would pay for their services going free, but a 12 month delay is pretty significant so I suspect any place that currently pays for access cares enough to want the latest feed.

Re:It only makes sense (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43862849)

I think this argument works better for patents on drugs, software, and data more than it does for the research papers. If I develop a great new cancer drug using a grant paid for by taxpayers, it's all fine and good if I publish the research paper on how I found it in an open access journal. But if I then turn around and patent it (or rather, my host research institution patents it) and licenses it to some big pharmecutical who gets the exclusive rights to it and sells it back to the taxpayers at a steep profit margin, well, who the fuck cares if you can access the technical details.

Open access to research is great, and I applaud California, but it seems like a small detail compared to a much larger intellectual property issue. IP from publicly funded grants should not be exclusively given, sold, or licensed unless the taxpayer directly benefits. Not sure how that would work though.

Great concept! (4, Insightful)

applematt84 (1135009) | about a year ago | (#43861411)

I love the idea of research being available when funded by public resources. I always hear about research that is being performed, but I never know where to go to read the final report. If I do find a report it usually costs money.

Re:Great concept! (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43861983)

FWIW, a couple of years ago the NSF added a new requirement that funding proposals must include a dissemination plan. I think we'll continue seeing (slow) improvement in this.

Meanwhile, if you can find out the researchers' names, and think of a couple of keywords to filter out false hits, there's a very good chance you can find the results of the research using a search engine.

Google Scholar is also a good way to filter out a lot of irrelevant hits.

Re:Great concept! (0)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#43862119)

Generally you can go to a library.

This bill makes it easier for people 'on the go' to access the research, but it does not change the fundamental accessibility since the majority of journals have always been available at libraries and such. This opens up individual (read: web) access so you can read it on your personal computer or mobile device.

Re:Great concept! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43863283)

You haven't been to a library recently; unless you're referring to a place requiring special credentials that allows quality access to a wide variety decent materials, you get to experience the ... well, I'll be nice.

Re:Great concept! (2)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a year ago | (#43862127)

A lot of material is available for free. A lot of what we publish at SLAC (and probably other DOE lab) is available for free from our publications sites, (eg SLAC Pubs) Unfortunately those sites rank much lower than the refereed journals in google searches so many people probably can't find them. Most researchers would be very happy to publish in free sites if we could somehow fix the problem of funding and promotions being based on the number of publications in "high impact" journals.

Re:Great concept! (3, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year ago | (#43862353)

Useful tip: Once you find the abstract (usually on a pay site), search Google for the paper title and authors. Google Scholar is particularly useful here. Find the preprint copy of the paper, which is usually hosted on an author's Web site or on a site like arXiv. Download that.

If you really want to read a paper and can't find a preprint, e-mail one of the authors and ask for a preprint PDF.

Re:Great concept! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43862979)

I always hear about research that is being performed, but I never know where to go to read the final report.

It's called a library.

Re:Great concept! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43869047)

A RESEARCH library perhaps, but for a large chunk of the country, a research library is not exactly nearby. Also, almost no libraries, even research libraries have access to all journals - subject specific journals in areas where even a large schools Michigan don't have someone working won't necessarily be available.

I'm in two minds about it. (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#43864141)

In principle, I'm all for using public money to "commission" public works/research etc.

On the other hand, a lot of public money is offered as seedcorn to help establish ongoing viable income streams. IE. we give you funding now, but not forever.

Right now it's "we give you funding now and forever", but perhaps a mix of the other two would be best...? The government can commission research as public property OR give a grant that allows the research institute to keep the profits on the understanding that their future ability to seek research grants will be diminished.

Great... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861423)

While I fully support open access, one must realize that funding for research has to come from somewhere... If open access is mandated, so should funding for research be... I'm no economist, but some minimum percent of tax dollars going to research funding would be a good way to do this.

Re:Great... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861655)

sure, lets just raise taxes even higher.. in Cali no less...

Re:Great... (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year ago | (#43861873)

That's exactly what's happening. Only the research that is funded by the public must be made available to the public.

That's NOT what's happening. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43862223)

Where in the bill is the increase in science research funding to cover the loss of revenue?

Nowhere.

You are an unrepentant parasite. Grow up. (4, Insightful)

Medievalist (16032) | about a year ago | (#43862327)

There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.

--Robert A. Heinlein, Life-Line (1939)

Re:That's NOT what's happening. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year ago | (#43866805)

The revenue goes towards a private company, not towards research therefore the funding can remain the same and that's the whole point. Why should the taxpayer pay for research that benefits a very small group of private companies?

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861913)

Well, in the case that this law covers, the funding already came from public taxes. So why would there need to be further mandates for funding research?

Privately funded research, no openness mandate, publicly funded research, open access mandated.

Golf Clap (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43861433)

Something reasonable finally coming from the California Legislature. Let see how well the (D) can screw this up, by exempting their buddies.

Re:Golf Clap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861619)

And how are we to be compensated for all the years of getting ripped off?

Oh, of course: it's our own fault we were getting ripped off, since the government and the people are one and the same. Please, tell me another fairy tale.

Re:Golf Clap (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#43862535)

Oh, of course: it's our own fault we were getting ripped off, since the government and the people are one and the same. Please, tell me another fairy tale.

It's not a fairy tale; it's a strategy. (Spock: "A lie?" Valeris: "A choice.")

Re:Golf Clap (1)

flatt (513465) | about a year ago | (#43861757)

Hardly. While a bill like this makes perfect sense at the national level, all this does is encourage moving even more high quality jobs out of state.

Re:Golf Clap (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43861883)

Possibly. But there are only so many tax dollars in every state. "You can have our tax dollars, but only if you agree to these restrictions on your behavior" is a favorable situation to "We wouldn't put restrictions on your behavior if we gave you tax dollars, but we're all out of them. Sorry."

Scientists always talk about how hard it is to get grant money. If there's money to be had in California, there will be people doing research there, regardless of publishing restrictions.

Re:Golf Clap (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#43862161)

I had forgotten about that element. Getting enough grant money to both do research AND eat has become increasingly difficult as it is. Additional requirements, esp requirements that might alienate other funding sources (since a great deal of research is not purely public money) could result in it being even more difficult to get anything viable done.

Re:Golf Clap (1)

flatt (513465) | about a year ago | (#43862227)

True. Researchers (or more correctly, organizations that hire researchers) will just try to get funding in every other state first (where they can have their cake and eat it too) and then come to California. If they find it elsewhere, they will leave. Eventually, the type of research that will be done in CA will be self-selected in that there were no issues with open access to begin with. Perhaps this is acceptable, I don't know.

Re:Golf Clap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861813)

In California, it is as much an (R) problem in these matters... gotta preserve campaign contributions and post-legislative lobby...er, consultant job opportunities...

Re:Golf Clap (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43862233)

Explain to me, how it is an (R) problem when the (D) party controls just about everything state wide, and has controlled the legislature for more than a decade. (R)s have held the governor's office here and there, but were mostly RINO neocons like Wilson and Arnold . The last relatively "conservative" governor was Dukemejian.

I love it when liberals blame others for the mess they have created for themselves. California gets what it deserves, and the (D)s can blame nobody but themselves.

Oh, BTW, I'm Libertarian so don't toss me into the (R) lot. If the (R)s had been in office as long as the (D)s it would be just as screwed up as it is now, just from different things. Out system best performs when it is socially liberal, fiscally conservative, basically Libertarian.

Re:Golf Clap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43862671)

Out system best performs when it is socially liberal, fiscally conservative, basically Libertarian.

The system works best when it performs based on my biases! Who would have fucking thought?

Re:Golf Clap (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year ago | (#43863089)

> Out system best performs when it is socially liberal, fiscally conservative, basically Libertarian.

Actually, our system performs best when it is run the way that I think that it should be run.

Why does this sound so strange ? (2)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#43861439)

Free and unlimited access to publicly funded research should already, without a law to enforce it, be a fact. So it is here in Europe, at least.

Re:Why does this sound so strange ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861667)

So no one in all of Europe has ever had government funded research and left it closed without the threat of law? I find that hard to beleive. I guess it really is the land of great liberation...

Yeah. Right.

Re:Why does this sound so strange ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861701)

Before you get all high and mighty, you may want to review those laws in Europe. I don't know them but I'm willing to bet that they are not as open as you'd think or like. Remember in the US, the restrictions came about from the journals - not the scientists, the government, nor the people. Many years ago, the delivery of hard copy journals and publishing in said journals was the only way to effectively disseminate new scientific knowledge. The journals needed to get paid to typeset, publish and deliver said journals. Theses days this has changed but the same metrics of how much you've published and were it was published mater. In fact, I saw a partition basically expressing dismay at a push in Europe for making publishing in high impact journals the only metric for promotion.

Don't get me wrong, I do agree with you that publicly funded research should be freely available, I'm just going to see more proof that this state already exists in Europe with so many European scientists publishing in the big name US journals.

Re:Why does this sound so strange ? (3, Interesting)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year ago | (#43862381)

Free and unlimited access to publicly funded research should already, without a law to enforce it, be a fact. So it is here in Europe, at least.

Yeah! That's a change [wsj.com] the European Union made weeks ago.

The policy change brings the EU in line with the U.S. and Australia, which both recently made open-access publishing mandatory for any papers that received government funding.

Oops.

$1 Grant (4, Insightful)

mdmkolbe (944892) | about a year ago | (#43861483)

If this passes, I would like to apply for a $1 grant even though I am not in California. Some publishers allow open access only when required by law and this would give me leverage. (As an academic it is in my interests to have my articles as easily accessible as possible. I never see a dime from the paywalls on my published articles.)

Re:$1 Grant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861793)

Why can't you post it online yourself? Would that violate university or journal policy?

Re:$1 Grant (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43861937)

Why can't you post it online yourself? Would that violate university or journal policy?

That's what usually happens. Most articles published in the field of CS since ~1990 seem to be available on line, and sometimes scans of older ones. Don't know about other fields.

Some print journals have a "self-archiving" policy that lets authors post their article to their own web page. Then they get found by your favorite search engine, and there you have it.

I suspect print journals have adopted the policy to keep prospective authors from taking their work somewhere else. I also suspect that lots of authors post their stuff without bothering to look up the journal's self-archival policy.

Re:$1 Grant (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year ago | (#43862395)

Journal policy, generally. But most journals don't restrict the publishing of preprint copies, which is what polite authors offer, gratis, on their personal Web sites.

Re:$1 Grant (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43861847)

The problem with this approach is that it only works in cases where the researcher already has the clout to publish open-access in the first place. You clearly want to publish open-access --- as any academic will. But why don't you already? Perhaps because there are pressures "from above" to publish-or-perish in particular prestigious (but closed) journals. Any researcher who is currently "unable" to publish open access because of forces against their will would still be unable with $1 California grants being handed out: whoever is currently keeping you from publishing open access would have your ass for making a "stupid move" like applying/accepting a $1 grant with strings attached (you'd probably be compelled to drop the grant and give back the dollar). To fix the problem, we need to get *your own* funding sources (and/or those in positions to currently prevent your open-access publication) to get on board the open-access bandwagon.

Re:$1 Grant (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | about a year ago | (#43866961)

Something you and a few other commenters seem to have missed is that many publishers already have policies that allow Open Access (or some sort or another) if it is required by a researcher's funding agency. What they don't allow is Open Access just because an author wants it.

Re:$1 Grant (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about a year ago | (#43861869)

it is in my interests to have my articles as easily accessible as possible

You can already just send your article out for free on the internet. You don't because, although you may not see a dime from the paywall, the journals offer credibility/exposure - and they know you have to publish to make tenure.

Some publishers allow open access only when required by law and this would give me leverage.

All this means is they'll stop accepting your work if it requires compliance with this new law. More likely, you'll merely be legally forbidden to submit to those journals. They'll never know whether it was because of the California law or just dull results.

Lastly, even if it cuts out half the research, most for-profit journals would rather do that than all the revenue.

Re:$1 Grant (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | about a year ago | (#43867087)

They'll never know whether it was because of the California law or just dull results.

The peer review process is separate from the publication process. One is run by volunteers from academia. The other is run by employees of the publisher. You'll absolutely know if they try to blackball you due to your funding sources. (My apologies if I'm misreading you.)

Lastly, even if it cuts out half the research, most for-profit journals would rather do that than all the revenue.

I don't know how it is in other areas, but the publishers in my area wouldn't survive the backlash if half the submissions were barred from publication over this. The social dynamics at play are subtle, but if even 10% of articles accepted by the peer review process were rejected over shenanigans like this, things would change.

Grant for Open Access fees (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | about a year ago | (#43867219)

On a slightly more serious note, I wonder if California could start a series of grants just to pay for the "author-pays" fee ($2000-$8000 depending on publisher). Some publishers are typically closed, but allow an author to make a particular article Open Access if they pay this fee. Unfortunately, paying that fee could enough of a barrier to prevent young researchers without enough money from choosing Open Access (especially if they are publishing multiple papers per year), but a grant to cover just that fee could lead to many more Open Access articles.

No patents either (3)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year ago | (#43861577)

I would like to see the next step be that products, medicines, and continued research utilizing public research as a starting point should all be prohibited from utilizing patents.

Re:No patents either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861865)

What did you say? You'd like the next step to be that no products are ever made from public research? If your scheme could exist no one would ever use the research. No one is going to make an unpatentable product. You could do this today if you wanted to and yet no one does it.

When will big minds like yours would put your money where your mouth is and actually produce something under your own guidelines? I've seen thousands of Slashdotters talk like this over the years and I've never seen one of you step up to the challenge you throw down for others.

If everyone in the US who claimed they hated "big pharma" would just put their money where their mouth is you guys could be producing all kinds of stuff for a few hundred dollars ante each. Why is it you won't do this and just show the rest of us how it's done? I guess it's a great idea until you're the one who has to front the cash and do the work.

Re:No patents either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43862351)

No one is going to make an unpatentable product.

You fail to realize people made unpatentable products for thousands of years. Even today plenty of industries rely more heavily on trade secrets and NDAs than they do on patents.

If everyone in the US who claimed they hated "big pharma" would just put their money where their mouth is you guys could be producing all kinds of stuff for a few hundred dollars ante each. Why is it you won't do this and just show the rest of us how it's done? I guess it's a great idea until you're the one who has to front the cash and do the work.

Sure, abolish patents (trolls) and the FDA (regulatory capture) and you'll see medical crowdfunding work as well as it has for software crowdfunding. Until then, the barrier to entry is too high.

Re:No patents either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43863351)

Sure, abolish patents (trolls) and the FDA (regulatory capture) and you'll see medical crowdfunding work as well as it has for software crowdfunding. Until then, the barrier to entry is too high.

Total tripe. You're just making excuses. You know it won't work. You won't get the funding for one and the failure rate that corporate pharmacy has shouldered for their entire existence would eviscerate your efforts as an open entity with no patent protection. As for the FDA? So you want to do away with the regulations because you think that they're a barrier to some crowdfunded mumbo jumbo? True, it adds to the costs. These costs are another thing the pharmacy industry has dealt with for decades. What you're really asking for though is that the public be the beta testers of some pretty questionable substances. Even with the regulation in place drugs like Pondimin were allowed to go public. Can you imagine what would slip through the cracks even from ethical producers without the FDA's oversight?

You fail to realize people made unpatentable products for thousands of years. Even today plenty of industries rely more heavily on trade secrets and NDAs than they do on patents.

Of course I realize people went without patents for most of human history but building tables in your barn workshop to sell to the local townfolks hasn't been a business model in over 100 years. You fail to realize that people understand the market situation perfectly well and you play on that to try to make it seem like the current model goes against convention. This would be a fantastic truth if this was 1860 but it's not the case today. And while NDAs and trade secrets are important they don't mean jack without patent protection when I get my hands on the product itself and reverse engineer it. Again, you know this is true and you're trying to make it seem like patents aren't what keep products profitable in the face of current business models.

What a joke.

Re:No patents either (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year ago | (#43863043)

Do you drive? If so, I imagine your car, like most, has a steering wheel. The skills you aquire driving one car easily transfer to the next car because it too has a steering wheel. And a gas peddle. And a break peddle.

What if Henry Ford or someone else in the early car industry had patented these devices? What if every car you ever drive has it's own proprietary system of controls?

I didn't say there should be no patents in the world. I just said if you leverage research from a publicly funded study than you shouldn't be able to close those results.

If you want to build a better steering wheel and patent it, go ahead. But don't do it using public money.

Re:No patents either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861979)

This would mean the end of public funding of science. Despite the endless drivel about science, knowledge, children, and society, the entire purpose of public funding in the US is to support future commerce.

Re:No patents either (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year ago | (#43863165)

>> "Despite the endless drivel about science, knowledge, children, and society, the entire purpose of public funding in the US is to support future commerce."

The early space program had the side bennefit of showing the Russians we were good at launching missles. There was a saber rattling component.

There are many reasons for public science. It will not go away just because companies can't take public reasearch and try to wrap patents around it.

I'm suggeting public research should be like the GPL. If you use GPL code there are rules. If you use public research money the same should be true.

Backlash (1)

micahraleigh (2600457) | about a year ago | (#43861723)

Global warming people will kill this.

Re:Backlash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861835)

What a delightful troll. Any reason in particular you believe this to be true? My own counter-knee-jerk reaction is that Republican fat-cats will kill it.

Re:Backlash (0)

micahraleigh (2600457) | about a year ago | (#43862529)

Substitute UC Berkeley with the FOIA requests at the University of East Anglia and you will get my point. The UEA discovered temperatures were dropping thanks to tax payer funded research, but they refused to release the data/emails/etc.

A knee jerk reaction is better than analyzing things to death. At least that is supposedly true in test taking.

If they can't sell access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43861871)

If they can't sell access and keep the research paywalled, then they'll have to raise taxes to cover the shortfall.

And how will it go if the research is part funded by private money? Is only some of the research to be disclosed?

Saves California money... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43861947)

This will save California money by reducing the number of grant requests. This is a great way to get the same result!

Despite how I feel about the openness of public funded research there will be those that will seek other sources of funding. In this case, you'd say "good riddance!"

Now if California was to openly state that they wanted to cut funding to research grants by 20%, you'd be very angry right now.

Re:Saves California money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43862057)

Most scientists want to have their peer-reviewed publications openly available.

Scientists and their institutions do not see a dime of the paywall money charged to read articles.

Why would some seek out another funding source?

Re:Saves California money... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43862113)

I agree scientists are open by nature. There are other projects that are government funded that do not involve "pure" science. An example would be a project that solves a problem and in the process creates a widget that makes it possible. Normally the results are open and the widget is commercialized. The CA proposal would reduce those requests in favor of more science.

Re:Saves California money... (1)

TechHSV (864317) | about a year ago | (#43862331)

I always assumed that professors made money off of this stuff somehow. Maybe they were paid to do the reviews of articles submitted by others in their field, or something similar. Is this not the case?

Re:Saves California money... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43863621)

Nope.

In fact, when you submit a manuscript to a journal, the author usually pays the journal either at submission or acceptance. This money typically comes from grant funding.

The editors of discipline-specific journals are usually not paid by the publisher. Rather, they do it as part of the service component of their job as a professor or researcher. Some top journals like Nature and Science have professional editors, and a few discipline-specific journals pay editors a stipend.

  The reviewers never get paid. Scientists review papers as a professional courtesy and to keep on top of the latest developments.

If a paper is published by a for-profit publisher like Springer or Elsevier, it goes behind a paywall. Libraries at universities and other institutions have to pay huge sums to access the work generated by their own scientists. The profit margins for Springer journals range from the 30 to 70%.

Re:Saves California money... (2)

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs (2872465) | about a year ago | (#43864249)

Reviews are unpaid and (in my field) usually anonymous. I think *some* journal editorships are paid, but I know not all of them are.

There are two ways for research professors to benefit financially _as_ professors: getting grants, and moving up the university hierarchy. Both of these are likelier if one's papers are (1) in high-status journals and (2) much cited. The not-open high-status journals are leaning on (1) really hard to prevent everyone posting all their papers to make (2) easier.

There's a slower longer feedback in that we need work to be well reviewed and available for the field to progress; and of course some people in some fields can work for private industry, which *might* not want work published, but usually that keeps it out of journals too.

It is Just as well AND saves money. (1)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | about a year ago | (#43862355)

It really is just as well, public funds should serve the public good I hope the whole USA follows suit. If you are working on something proprietary seek private funds.

Re:It is Just as well AND saves money. (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43862449)

I reread the actual bill. It seems vague about the invention part. It seems to do nothing more than force the researcher to make their published paper available for free to the public. This is pretty much the norm for the people I work with so I don't see it changing that much. Except, I did notice the requirement to publish the paper even if it isn't peer-reviewed in 12 months. So I do see a possible side effect of non-peer reviewed work being posted by universities and possibly being used by the general press to make a case against something that has peer-reviewed material support. I don't expect the news to make the distinction apparent to their viewers.

Re:It is Just as well AND saves money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43863355)

Open Access publishing will lead to bullshit like this

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/13/05/23/155211/a-cold-look-at-cold-fusion-claims-why-e-cat-looks-like-a-hoax

Re:Saves California money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43864823)

The amount of funding for research coming from the Federal government is several orders of magnitude greater than the amount from all 50 state governments put together.

Sucks for the grad students (1)

simonbp (412489) | about a year ago | (#43862273)

An unintended consequence could well be to make it harder for researchers without a lot of funding (i.e. grad students, post docs) to publish. Publishers often offer the choice between paying them to publish it open access (several hundred dollars), or publishing it for free behind a paywall (a paywall that most researchers don't see because of institutional subscriptions). So, most of the work of my dissertation is technically behind a paywall because I had to.

Of course it's also on the preprint sever (http://arxiv.org), but noone trusts stuff there that does not link back to journal article.

Re:Sucks for the grad students (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year ago | (#43863963)

I could set up a publishing site on the web and have it funded using online ads. I'll call it TestTube.com. Some material will be age/education level restricted.

Be careful what you wish for CA (1)

biodata (1981610) | about a year ago | (#43862461)

Academics will still need to publish in the high-impact journals, the journals know this, and the prices for them to provide open access will go up. More and more of the money supposed to fund research will be funnelled instead to support the publishers. It's already happening elsewhere where this kind of thing is mandated. You can mandate open access but I bet you can't mandate a reasonable price from the publishers.

Re:Be careful what you wish for CA (1)

the plant doctor (842044) | about a year ago | (#43867735)

I was just thinking the same thing. Open access is great! Who's paying for it? The costs of my last publication were nearly $3000 because I chose open access. I'm lucky to have the funds to do it at the moment.

I hope that this action is backed up with sufficient support to actually publish as open access. Somehow I suspect maybe not.

Death throes of the old establishment (2)

DeathGrippe (2906227) | about a year ago | (#43862629)

Academic publishers have had a very long and profitable run, and are now fighting back against the free flow of information that they once thrived upon. They are fighting a losing game.

Publication has now become essentially cost free, the only costs being those to maintain the online information resources, and the time invested to review. Since reviewers were never paid in the past, and because data storage and access are incredibly inexpensive, and becoming even less expensive, and because finding and researching subjects is far faster and more convenient in digital form, the old paper journal format will eventually pass away.

As a result, the only option for the old publishing industry is to try and legislate protections for its business model. Ultimately this too will fail, as economic and other considerations make the old model unsustainable.

federally funded research (1)

airuck (300354) | about a year ago | (#43862829)

While I agree whole-heartedly with open science/open access, most public research in California is federally funded, not state funded. Although some institutes, like the NIH, require publication to journals, the journals themselves can and do have commercial policies. This is where real battle is currently being waged.

Lots of it is already freely available (2)

pnprice (2936581) | about a year ago | (#43862881)

I work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), a large (4000-person) Department of Energy research lab that is, unfortunately but understandably, often confused with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. We get lots of funding from DoE, of course, but also from other federal and state agencies.

Almost all of the work we do is published in the form of "LBNL reports", most of which are freely available, although hard to find. Much of the work is later published in scientific journals, and it is sometimes problematic that an LBNL report of the work already exists: some of my colleagues have had papers rejected on the grounds that the work was already 'published' as an LBNL report. (That's bad because LBNL reports are not usually peer reviewed, except for an internal review process). Perhaps because of that, LBNL does not make the LBNL report database searchable by outsiders. However, most (maybe all?) of the reports are supposedly available through the Science.gov portal. But the search facilities there are so primitive that I've never been able to find what I'm looking for there (for instance, even searching on my own name plus a few words from one of my report titles doesn't work reliably, turning up hundreds of hits that may or may not include my report).

Fortunately, the search engine of your choice is probably adequate. If you're looking for work that was done here at LBNL, simply putting "LBNL report" at the start of your search request will probably work. For instance, Google [LBNL report building electric load] and you will find a bunch of reports on analyzing electricity data from buildings, usually from the relevant LBNL department website. A lot of this work was also published in journals that are behind paywalls, but the same content is here for free. Often there is additional material that had to be cut in order to make it into the journal, so sometimes the reports are better than the papers. On the other hand, the papers do benefit from modifications due to reviewer comments, and are often prepared with more care, so sometimes the papers are better. I think several other federal agencies have similar policies.

So if you find a journal paper that you're interested in but can't read because it's behind a paywall, and the authors work for the government, then try searching on the author names and a few of the words from the title and add "report" to your search (or "LBNL report" or "NASA report" or whatever). You have a pretty good chance of finding what you want.

GOOD THING WE STILL GOT HOCKEY !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43863151)

The bastion of sportsmanship if ever a game was !!

This will lead to more university patents (1)

laughingskeptic (1004414) | about a year ago | (#43863205)

Instead of focusing on disclosure, the bills should focus on ownership. A patent application is a public disclosure. The universities will simply file more patents making their research less useful to and less owned by the general public.

the meaning of "is" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43864693)

if the state hires me to write new security software and I need to do a lot of reading on the subject, is that "Publically Funded Research"?
Do I then have to describe how it works to everyone on the internet (China, North Korea, Iran, etc...)

Please Contact Federal Congressmen About Bill (2)

mx+b (2078162) | about a year ago | (#43864871)

A similar bill exists at the federal level, Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2013 (H.R. 708 and S. 350). It actually requires any research papers are in the public domain within 6 months of publication, which I think is great and long overdue. If public money paid for it, it belongs to the public! I contacted my congressmen's office to voice my support, and made the suggestion that research papers also be required to be available in an open format (such as plain ASCII text or OpenDocument where appropriate) to make sure research can be archived properly, but other than that, it is a short and simple bill with a good objective. Highly recommend everyone start hammering their representatives to get it done.

Feathercoin Success (1)

wesphily (2936739) | about a year ago | (#43868009)

In the last two weeks Feathercoin membership has gone from 700 to well over 1000 members. This has lead us into the formation of teams with specific areas of focus. These teams range from public relations to code development and it is only the beginning. I invite you all to visit the Feathercoin forums to see what you are missing. Definitely some investment opportunities to take advantage of in the coming weeks.
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