John Conyers wants to keep science hidden

A bill by John Conyers is one of the worst pieces of legislation I have seen. It means that taxpayers would have to pay to see the results of the scientific studies they have paid to have done. I read many studies directly because of my son’s medical condition, and because I am curious about all sorts of things. This bill must be stopped. I think it is terrible that so much research is not more widely available. How can result be reproduced or inspire more research if they can’t be read? I think we should require works commissioned by the government to be freely available. If the public pays for it, the public should be able to make use of it.

John Conyers is a dickweed shill for the dying business model of dead-tree publishers. Corporate Welfare at its worst.

It’ll die in Committee just like it did the first time.

That’s exactly how it works in my field. If a study is funded by the government, the results are required to be made freely available after publication.

And in my field, nobody’s required to make their results public (though the raw data from any NASA mission becomes public after at most a year), but almost everyone chooses to do so anyway. We scientists like sharing information.

Well, the publishers have been trying their damndest since before browsers existed (anyone remember Archie?, the first i-net search engine) to prevent public posting of papers. Academics do all the research, all the writing, all the refereeing, for free and then the publisher takes over, pays a pittance to the editor-in-chief (maybe) prints and mails it and asserts complete ownership. I say FTS. I have not used a commercial publisher since 1995, when their prices started to hit astronomical heights. On the other hand, I am technical editor for an online journal that is distributed gratis.

Good. It should die.

In my area, almost all publishing is done through technical societies, IEEE in my case. Journals are a lot cheaper than commercial ones, and there are far more of them. For one price you can get access to all the publications on line. Journals and magazines get both paper and on-line publication.
But there are costs. Though the editor-in-chief, ed board, and columnists are all volunteers, there is a professional editing staff. We get money every time someone accesses an article from the on-line library. But I think there is something to be said about having a journal, and not a bunch of unconnected papers going from review into the library.
Anyhow, there is only one commercial journal in my area, which might be dead. It never gets referenced very much, probably because its circulation is so low because of the cost. Society publication works pretty well.

An, on topic. Conyers is a jerk. I’m quite glad he lost his chairmanship. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I didn’t get the gist of the bill from the link, but making taxpayer funded research free seems fine to me.

Well, his wife is a nut too (post #5). They must have some interesting dinnertime conversations.

Huh? I thought that there was already a law (or maybe it’s not a law, but a requirement) that if a research is getting X money from the NIH, they have to publish the results in a free online journal.

At least, I remember reading about it a while ago. And over the last few years I’ve noticed an increase in the number of articles available online that show up in Pubmed.

Yes, but that’s just the NIH. There are a number of other avenues through which the government funds research in various fields-- NASA, the DoE, the NSF, the department of defense, etc. So far as I know, the NIH is currently the only one which requires free publication (though several others encourage it).

Ah, thanks for the information!

What does the actual bill propose…it required me to register before I could get to the gist of the legislation. ??

Here’s the text of the bill

As a point of reference, Section 106 is about Copyright, and paragraphs 1-5 are essentially the entirety of the basic Copyright rules. There is a paragraph 6 for sound recordings which is surprisingly not tossed in for giggles.