The debate over open access to scientific literature intensified this week with the introduction of federal legislation designed to curb publishers' control over scientific publishing. The bill, introduced in the US House of Representatives yesterday (June 26) by Rep. Martin Sabo (D-Minn.), is one part of a larger campaign, launched by the open-access Public Library of Science (PLoS), to raise a national debate on the issue of access to scientific literature.

As part of the campaign, the PLoS this week began running a 30-second television ad designed to introduce the topic to the lay public. The ads will run during popular prime-time shows, such as "The Simpsons."

Rep. Sabo drafted and introduced the bill after the PLoS approached him and explained that while federal tax dollars support research, access to the results is limited to scientists whose libraries can afford high subscription fees and to those lay people lucky enough...

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