Support for AAP’s support of RWA a mixture of outrage and intimidation

Penn State has joined MIT Press and ITHAKA in opposing the Research Works Act, as reported by Richard Poynder in “Can AAP Members stay neutral in the row over the Research Works Act?” in his blog, Open and shut.  Richard Poynder surveyed 35 members of the Association of American Publishers, and found most of them hadn’t taken a position on the new law.  He, and Peter Suber, believe that neutrality will become more difficult as faculty authors complain more.  Yet the responses Poynder got from member university presses were often, “we’re not challenging the AAP.”  This sounds like faculty members ducking from raising objections to scholarly societies’ highway robbery journal pricing.  Poynder also reported that the University of California Press issued a statement that their “perspective on these issues differs from that of AAP,” but although they support new models of scholarly communication, they are not withdrawing from the AAP.  Of course there are benefits to collegiality, and those may not be surpassed by inconvenience, cost, or moral reprehensibility for a while yet.

Update:  according to the Chronicle of higher education, Nature Publishing Group and AAAS have expressed difference with the AAP as well.  Also, the legislation is co-sponsored by Darrell Issa, Representative from California who has initiated many bills and inquiries showing him to be no friend of the academic community.

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