A fascinating story on Francois Jacob’s discovery -
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WTF? The University of California sides with publishers against the public -Mike Eisen
The University of California system spends nearly $40 million every year to buy access to academic journals, even though many of the articles are written, reviewed, and edited by UC professors. So youd think the cash-strapped UC system would leap to back any effort to undermine the absurd science publishing system.
Youd think. But youd be wrong.
Assemblymember Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert) introduced a bill The California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act (AB 609) that would require recipients of state-funded research grants to make copies of their work freely available through the California State Library within six months of their initial publication.
Although I think that the six month embargo is unnecessary theres no reason not to make publicly funded works immediately freely available I sent in a letter supporting the bill, as it establishes the states interest in ensuring public access to taxpayer funded research.
Hearings into the bill were scheduled for last week, but were delayed so that the bill could be modified in order to earn the support of the University of California the flagship higher education system in the state, and the host of millions of dollars in state-funded research.
When I first heard this I was excited. Finally, I thought, UC is stepping up to the plate and taking a strong stance in support of open access. Then I read the letter UC had sent.
Adrian Diaz, the University of Californias Legislative Director, wrote that UC was supportive of the legislations intent but would only support it if the embargo period were extended to one year, and if its own grant programs were exempted from the bills requirements.
I was dumbfounded.