Dear Ms. Keane:
I'm writing this open letter as a student of Johns Hopkins University, to urge the Johns Hopkins University Press to publicly oppose the Research Works Act (HR 3699), and to terminate your membership in the Association of American Publishers (AAP).
Other writers on the Internet make the case for this better than I could, so I'd like to refer you to a few online resources.
- For an overview of the proposed legislation, and some background, I recommend this recent op-ed in the NY Times, by Michael Eisen, "Research Bought, then Paid For"
- Michael Eisen has also written a blog post, "Our scientific societies need to quit the Association of American Publishers", in which he makes the case that we all must apply a concerted effort to communicate to the AAP that their support of this type of legislation is unacceptable,
- Here is an excellent post by Cameron Neylon, "IP Contributions to Scientific Papers by Publishers: An open letter to Rep Maloney and Issa", in which he makes the case that the AAP's relentless focus on IP, as a way to generate revenue, is misguided and counter-productive,
Recently, various other organizations have publically disavowed the RWA, and/or resigned their membership in the AAP, including
- MIT Press: "MIT Press distances itself from Research Works Act"
- ITHAKA and the CLIR: "ITHAKA becomes the second AAP member to disavow the Research Works Act"
I would like to suggest that this is an opportunity for Johns Hopkins University Press to lead, by coming out quickly and forcefully in favor of open access to scientific literature, which is so crucial to accelerating the advancement of science. I note that you've recently started a JHU Press Blog and I think that would be an ideal venue for this type of report.
Thank you for your consideration!
Here are a few other blog posts I've seen recently urging this kind of action: