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Senior academic officers oppose 'public access' legislation

able for research--or from the university, which could ultimately lead to higher institutional costs than those needed for journal subscriptions.

In fact, some studies have already shown that research intensive universities would have to pay considerably more to gain access to the same amount of research under an author- pays model than a subscription model.

Mandating free dissemination of scientific manuscripts within six months would significantly limit the ability of non-profit and commercial publishers to cover the upfront reviewing, editing, and production costs of creating these manuscripts. Some journals would simply cease to exist. Others would be much less able to support innovation in scientific publishing and archiving. Ultimately, this could lead to a system in which NIH and other federal agencies must sustain a significant portion of the research publishing enterprise, maintaining 100+ years of archival journals, as well as producing new research articles.

As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, you are certainly sensitive to the various forces that shape and reshape the Federal budget from year to year. Recently, for example, we learned that the Biomolecular Interaction Network Database--the world's largest free repository for proteomic data--lost its funding and curtailed its curation efforts. As leaders in our respective academic institutions, we are profoundly concerned that one unintended consequence of S. 2695 would be to put both our current research publications and our research archives in jeopardy.

Given the widespread access to the scientific literature that already exists and the negative unintended consequences this bill will have on the academic community, we urge you to reconsider whether S.2695 is needed.

Thank you for considering our request.

Sincerely yours,

Robert R. Rich, MD, Senior Vice President and Dean, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medic
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Contact: Christine Guilfoy
cguilfoy@the-aps.org
301-634-7253
American Physiological Society
22-Sep-2006


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