The OSTP should on no account be taken in by the Trojan Horse that is being offered by the research publishing industry’s “CHORUS.”
CHORUS is just the latest successor organisation for self-serving anti-Open Access (OA) lobbying by the publishing industry. Previous incarnations have been the “PRISM coalition” and the “Research Works Act.”
1. It is by now evident to everyone that OA is inevitable, because it is optimal for research, researchers, research institutions, the vast R&D industry, students, teachers, journalists and the tax-paying public that funds the research.
2. Research is funded by the public and conducted by researchers and their institutions for the sake of research progress, productivity and applications — not in order to guarantee publishers’ current revenue streams and modus operandi: Research publishing is a service industry and must adapt to the revolutionary new potential that the online era has opened up for research.
3. That is why both research funders (like NIH) and research institutions (like Harvard) — in the US as well as in the rest of the world — are increasingly mandating (requiring) OA: See ROARMAP.
4. Publishers are already trying to delay the potential benefits of OA to research progress by imposing embargoes of 6-12 months or more on research access that can and should be immediate in the online era.
5. The strategy of CHORUS is to try to take the power to provide OA out of the hands of researchers so that publishers gain control over both the timetable and the insfrastructure for providing OA.
6. And, without any sense of the irony, the publisher lobby (which already consumes so much of the scarce funds available for research) is attempting to do this under the pretext of saving “precious research funds” for research!
7. It is for researchers to provide OA, and for their funders and institutions to mandate and monitor OA provision by requiring deposit in their institutional repositories — which already exist, for multiple purposes.
8. Depositing in repositories entails no extra research expense for research, just a few extra keystrokes, from researchers.
9. Institutional and subject repositories keep both the timetable and the insfrastructure for providing OA where it belongs: in the hands of the research community, in whose interests it is to provide OA.
10. The publishing industry’s previous ploys — PRISM and the Research Works Act — were obviously self-serving Trojan Horses, promoting the publishing industry’s interests disguised as the interests of research.
Let the OSTP not be taken in this time either.
Giles, J. (2007) PR’s ‘pit bull’ takes on open access. Nature 5 January 2007.