Elsevier Blinks, Will No Longer Support Research Works Act

Mark Hoofnagle | ScienceBlogs | February 27, 2012

In a victory for science, and those who favor open access for the easy dissemination of scientific results to the public and scientists around the world, Elsevier has withdrawn support for the Research Works Act.

I think credit has to go to Tim Gowers calling for and Michael Eisen spreading the word on the boycott and getting Elsevier's attention. Eisen initially brought our attention to the bill which would have allowed Elsevier to break with the growing tendency towards putting science payed for with tax dollars into open access databases. The Research Works Act would allow them to erect pay walls on publicly-funded research and it was out of line with where science publishing has been going for the last decade. By calling attention to it and pushing back against Elsevier, the publisher that seemed to be largely behind the new legislation, Gowers and Eisen appear to have effectively killed support for this bill. If congress gets the message hopefully it will sink into oblivion...