Saturday, November 03, 2007

Update: Inhofe, NIH and OA

Open Access News posted an update regarding Inhofe and his amendment to the LHHS appropriations bill.

When Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) withdrew his two anti-OA amendments to the LHHS appropriations bill, he and Sen Michael Enzi (R-WY) filed a "colloquy" or speech to be added to the legislative history. Its primary purpose was to influence the conference committee to strike or weaken the NIH provision before sending the bill to the president. Here's the text of the colloquy (from the Congressional Record for October 23, 2007), complete but for the opening and closing courtesies:...

Mr. INHOFE. I would like to add my voice to Senator ENZI’s concern regarding the NIH public access mandate that would force private sector publishers to make their articles freely available on an NIH Web site. I am concerned that this proposal will harm the journal businesses, hurt scientific communication, and impose a severe regulatory taking on commercial and nonprofit publishers. I also believe that this change in policy could have a negative impact on the intellectual property protections for scientific journal articles. I believe this issue is different from making underlying scientific data available. I believe that federally funded scientific raw data should be available for other researchers to review. I would also ask that Senators HARKIN and SPECTER agree to work with me to revise this NIH provision when this bill is conferenced....

I'm glad to see that Senator Inhofe is so concerned about the financial well being of all the scientific publishing houses in his constituency area. After all we know there aren't any researchers, scholars, consumers, or patients who would need speedy free open access to research funded by public monies -- especially to help with their financial or physical well being.

Maybe a with a time machine we could get the Istook of 2004 to champion NIH open access to his Republican colleague?

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