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Christina's LIS Rant
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
  AAP hires a PR firm to fight back against open access
Jim Giles (25 January 2007). PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access. Nature 445, 347 doi:10.1038/445347a; Published online 24 January 2007

Article pointed out by Dana Roth on Chem-Inf.

The Association of American Publishers feels that they are under siege and have hired a pit bull to fight back, apparently. So this isn't really surprising or alarming, but this quote is:
The consultant advised them to focus on simple messages, such as "Public access equals government censorship". He hinted that the publishers should attempt to equate traditional publishing models with peer review, and "paint a picture of what the world would look like without peer-reviewed articles". [emphasis mine]
He's also suggesting partnerships with groups who have angered scientists... I'm not sure how that will help.

So this plays on a couple of irrational fears 1) articles published open access will not get respect (and therefore tenure, promotion, etc) 2) articles published open access aren't any good and can't make it elsewhere -- we so know this isn't true as many high impact, high quality journals have open access articles. The government censorship bit is absurd. I guess we'll see what effect this has.
{all opinions my own, no one else's}

Update 1/29: ACS posted a reply on CHM-Inf. I don't really intend to discuss that much here as it actually seems to dig them into a deeper hole and confirm they're not behaving themselves as a non-profit society publishing to promote science. They do actually point to a very interesting article from the Washington Post by Rick Weiss. Well worth a read (will probably require free registration and will only be available for 14 days from publication, after that you'll have to get it from your library!)

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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

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