Friday, January 13, 2012

University of California Press differs from AAP on Research Works Act

Alison Mudditt, the director of the University of California Press, has just emailed me the following statement outlining the Press’ position on the controversial Research Works Act (RWA).  

We should note that the University of California Press is a member of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), which has backed the RWA.

“As part of the world’s leading public research university, University of California Press is committed to the wide dissemination of knowledge to researchers, educators, leaders, and public audiences worldwide. The issues raised by Research Works Act are complex and we welcome continued informed debate on this topic. Our perspective on these issues differs from that of AAP, and we are committed to engaging closely with scholars from all disciplines in exploring new models that retain critical features such as quality control, long-term preservation, and measures of impact and use. However, UC Press does not believe withdrawing our membership in AAP is beneficial to the resolution of this issue or to our long-term interests. Scholarly communication faces unprecedented and undeniable challenges, and we believe that rich and diverse debate is the best path to sustainable solutions.”

Statements on the RWA are also available from MIT Press, ITHAKA, and Pennsylvania State University Press here, here, and here.

Readers may also be interested in an article I wrote earlier today on the topic of the RWA, which provides some background on this controversial topic.

I invite other members of AAP to email me their views on the RWA, which I am happy to publish here. 


Executive director of The Rockefeller University Press Mike Rossner has today sent a letter to Rep. Carolyn Maloney who, with Rep. Darrell Issa, introduced the RWA (AKA H.R. 3699) into the US House of Representatives at the end of last year.

The Rockefeller University Press is located in Maloney's constituency, and Rossner is a resident and voter in her constituency.

The letter can be viewed here. Below is an extract:

“I want to state emphatically that I support the NIH Public Access Policy and think it should be expanded to other federal funding agencies … Enacting a law that prohibits federal funding agencies from mandating public access to the results of the research they fund will deprive the public of important information that is rightly theirs. Although this Act has been supported by the Association of American Publishers (AAP), it is vital that members of Congress know that not all members of this Association agree with their position. The Rockefeller University Press is a member of the AAP, but we strongly oppose H.R. 3699.”


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