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February 27, 2012
Is the Research Works Act Dead?
It may well be. This morning comes news that Elsevier has dropped support for the RWA, which makes one think that they're feeling the pressure:
We have heard expressions of support from publishers and scholarly societies for the principle behind the legislation. However, we have also heard from some Elsevier journal authors, editors and reviewers who were concerned that the Act seemed inconsistent with Elsevier’s long-standing support for expanding options for free and low-cost public access to scholarly literature. That was certainly not our intention in supporting it. . .
While we continue to oppose government mandates in this area, Elsevier is withdrawing support for the Research Work Act itself. We hope this will address some of the concerns expressed and help create a less heated and more productive climate for our ongoing discussions with research funders. . .
You can smell the smoke from the brake pads, and hear the reverse gears engaging. Maybe now the American Chemical Society will make a public statement - I haven't heard anything from them yet, although their default position (as a member of the AAP) is to support it. (They supported a previous version of the bill in 2008).
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