A single, simple, direct question to publishers about the RWA
February 22, 2012
The Research Works Act (RWA) is a bill which intends to end the NIH policy and to make it illegal for government agencies to establish similar policies.
The costs of publishing services need to be met and are in addition to the costs of doing the research. Publishers invest heavily to add value to research reports and draft manuscripts through the publishing process.
Elsevier is happy to work with any sustainable business model for publishing services. We are happy with models where funding is provided on the author-side or the user-side of the publishing process, or hybrids of the two. To be clear, we already publish through gold open access models in addition to our traditional subscription and transactional business models.
While green open access is not a business model, as it has no revenue stream, we are happy to work with this approach in combination with one or more sustainable business models (e.g. gold open access and/or subscriptions.
We oppose in principle the notion that governments should be able to dictate the terms by which products of private sector investments are distributed.
So my simple question is this: the statement seems to say that publishers would be happy for government departments to impose Gold OA mandates on the research that they fund — is that correct?
It seems to me that if the existing NIH mandate were replaced by one that said “if we fund your research, you must publish the results in a Gold OA journal”, that would resolve publishers’ issues, because the the government wouldn’t be saying anything at all about “products of private sector investment”.
Can publishers please comment? (And anyone else who wants to, of course).