prismatic bullshit

publishers of prestigious and very expensive science and medicine journals are annoyed at the possibility that publicly funded research results may be open, affordable and accessible by the public that funded it, so they attack it with fear, uncertainty, and doubt on their miserable prism coalition website [and alas, put their publishing credentials to shame]

Various initiatives and proposals have been put forth by special interest groups and some legislators that would force private sector publishers to surrender to the federal government all peer-reviewed articles that report on research supported by federal research grants.

Such undue government intervention in scholarly publishing poses inherent risks and problems, including:

  • Threats to the economic viability of journals and the independent system of peer review
  • The potential for introducing selective bias into the scientific record
  • Government data repositories being subject to budget uncertainties
  • Unwarranted increases in government spending to compete with private sector publishing
  • Expropriation of publishers' investments in copyrighted articles
  • Undermining the reasonable protections of copyright holders
let's follow the droppings, shall we, in the manner of amazon. here are the negatively charged words and phrases intended to distort, misinform, and mislead: special interest groups, force, surrender, undue government intervention, inherent risks, threats to economic viability [whoo, this is a big one], threats to peer review, selective bias, budget uncertainties, unwarranted budget increase, competition with private sector, expropriation of investments, undermining copyright protection.

this sort of FUD is just stupid and embarrassing. none of their prestigious journals would publish it...

[why do i care? because more than a decade ago, i had the unfortunate task of helping university librarians and computer science faculty decide what journals to drop because the university library could no longer afford them. this was not because of a library budget cut, but because of the obscene increases in the library subscription costs for such journals. as far as i am concerned, their comeuppance is about a decade too late...]

here is a very good summary of reactions and responses from the science bloggers: This PRISM does not turn white light into the beautiful colors of the rainbow

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