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RE: Sabo Bill: Measure Calls for Wider Access to Federally Financed Research

I read the proposal more in terms of who paid for the research (probably a
grant) rather than who actually wrote the article.  If the research being
reported was paid for with federal money, all articles directly resulting
from it would be freely available regardless of the author's affiliation.

With others here, I am very leery of having a publisher handle this that
is anything but non-profit (with some limitations even there--for example,
American Chemical Society and American Psychological Association would not
seem appropriate).  I would not want the publisher to be in the place of
having a monopoly AND having to increase profits for shareholders or
owners.  Perhaps a government agency or quasi-government agency or even
university consortium would seem appropriate (perhaps like MiCTA), but an
organization that has as its mission to serve the needs of the user.  I
don't know very much about BioMed Central, but I believe PubMedCentral was
set up this way.  I also don't know what kind of governance is being
proposed for the Public Library of Science.

No one has mentioned the current system of page charges yet, but I think
it should be part of the discussion.  As I understand it, many scientific
publishers not only charge subscribers but also charge the authors per
page for an article (probably as another way to "get" money from the feds
through grants).

Unlike others here, I do not see institutional members as another form of
library subscription, but rather a way institutions make it possible for
their faculty to be professionally productive.

Harvey Brenneise
Michigan Public Health Institute