AIP's Position on the Research Works Act (HR 3699)
The Research Works Act (RWA; HR 3699), introduced in December 2011, would prohibit the free dissemination of private research works funded by federal agencies. This would effectively mean a repeal of the NIH Public Access Mandate passed under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 and an end to the PubMed Central digital repository.
While AIP would routinely oppose any federal legislation, such as the NIH policy, that mandates a one-size-fits-all approach to increasing public access, we are deeply concerned that RWA undermines the momentum and spirit of the collaborative efforts already underway to provide online access by the public to research results.
AIP's goal is to achieve the widest dissemination of the research results and other information we publish. As such, AIP has been substantively involved in collaborative and productive efforts to find a way to develop dissemination plans that engage and benefit all affected parties, including federal agencies, scientists, university administrators, librarians, publishers, and the public. These efforts include:
It is AIPís position that the proposed legislation is counterproductive to current efforts and not needed at this time. The measured, imaginative discussions between publishers and federal agencies that have been spurred by the existing COMPETES law offer the most productive route to success in broadening public access.
- Participation on the Scholarly Publishing Roundtable,
- Endorsement of the inclusive approach articulated in an existing public law, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, and developing agency-publisher partnerships, and
- Development of pilot projects directly with DOE and NSF to increase access to and interoperability among agency and publisher databases.
About American Institute of Physics
The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is an organization of 10 physical science societies, representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators. As one of the world's largest publishers of scientific information in physics, AIP employs innovative publishing technologies and offers publishing services for its Member Societies. AIP's suite of publications includes 15 journals, three of which are published in partnership with other societies; magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Through its Physics Resources Center, AIP also delivers valuable services and expertise in education and student programs, science communications, government relations, career services for science and engineering professionals, statistical research, industrial outreach, and the history of physics and other sciences.