Reply to Revolution

The political movement led by Harold Varmus as described in "A Science Publishing Revolution,"1 displays an unfortunate disregard for the study of dissemination, information science. The PubMed Central advocacy is storming about, armed with rhetoric and anecdotes rather than carefully gathered evidence. Moreover, they have carefully avoided admitting that the institutions with libraries could easily pay more than they do to support access to the most esoteric reports. Research universities are v

Albert Henderson
May 13, 2001
The political movement led by Harold Varmus as described in "A Science Publishing Revolution,"1 displays an unfortunate disregard for the study of dissemination, information science. The PubMed Central advocacy is storming about, armed with rhetoric and anecdotes rather than carefully gathered evidence. Moreover, they have carefully avoided admitting that the institutions with libraries could easily pay more than they do to support access to the most esoteric reports. Research universities are very profitable according to the Internal Revenue Service. Yet they have convinced their faculty that 'there is no money.' The rhetorical answer to their position would be: If research is valuable, its work product should be adequately supported.

In spite of the passage of the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976, a law that mandated attention to dissemination, science policy directors have ignored academic libraries for 30 years. Library spending has not kept...

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