A Science and Tech Policy PhD candidate at GMU (Ryan Zelnio) posted an interesting article to facebook highlighting a bill that would end open-access to peer reviewed research coming out of NIH programs. (I happen to live pretty close to NIH in suburban Maryland and many of my neighbors work over there; often wicked smart people.
According to the article posted by Dave Bruggeman the interest group pushing this bill is the academic journal publishers (Universities) who want to end the free distribution that the NIH rule dictate. If the journals have the rights (usually granted by the authors) and the NIH free access rule is ended, then customers have no choice but to subscribe to the publishing journals or buy the articles on a case by case basis.
This sounds like monopoly rights for publicly funded knowledge. Please contact representative John Conyers (MI) and ask him to stop pushing this bill. His co-sponsors on the bill appear to be Steve Cohen of TN, Trent Franks of AZ, Darrell Issa (CA), and Robert Wexler of FL. (BTW, should anyone representing Michigan be spending their time on this? Dereliction of duty?)
I know Ryan from a class on Science and Technology Policy with David Hart. I now run into him every few months and chat about our research. My relationship with him highlights the benefits that a campus offers in terms of interesting people working on a broad range of issues. While I do not focus on hard core science and tech policy issues, Ryan does and his insights, experience, and information provide new frameworks and concepts to use and compare when completing my work. The campus ec0-system is rich and well worth embedding in.