Dozens of scholarly journal publishers have voiced their opposition to an open access bill in the US Congress. The bill, called the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), would require any research supported by federal money to be deposited in a publicly accessible online repository within 6 months of publication.
The 81 signatories of letters, drafted and sent to the House of Representatives and Senate by the Association of American Publishers (AAP), included multi-title publishing giants, such as Elsevier, the American Chemical Society, and Springer Publishing Company, along with small society and association publishers, such as the American Fisheries Society and the American Association of Immunologists.
"FRPAA is little more than an attempt at intellectual eminent domain, but without fair compensation to authors and publishers," said AAP president and CEO Tom Allen in a statement. In addition to putting their own bottom lines in peril, the publishing trade group explains that FRPAA "imposes additional costs on all federal agencies by requiring them to divert critical research funding to the creation and management of new databases, archives, and infrastructure to handle dissemination of these articles—functions already being performed by private-sector publishers."
The AAP aired this anti-FRPAA sentiment about a week after its largest member, Elsevier, dropped their support of a parallel anti-open access bill, the Research Works Act, which would have made policies that require making published, federally funded research freely available illegal. Just a few hours later, the bill met an untimely death in a House committee.