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President Bottoms and 52 Other Liberal Arts College Leaders Show Support for Public Research Access Act

September 6, 2006

Robert Bottoms Podium.jpgSeptember 6, 2006, Greencastle, Ind. - DePauw University President Robert G. Bottoms and the presidents of 52 other liberal arts colleges are issuing a joint letter backing open access research. Inside Higher Edreports, "When the Federal Public Research Access Act was proposed this year, scholarly society after scholarly society came out against the legislation, which would require federal agencies to publish their findings, online and free, within six months of their publication elsewhere," writes Scott Jaschik. "It is increasingly hard, however, to say that those societies reflect the views of academe on the issue."

The article notes, "In July, the provosts of 25 research universities came out in favor of the legislation, saying that the current system of research publishing leads to outrageously high journal costs that are harming libraries and making it impossible for people to follow research." The letter signed by Dr. Bottoms and other liberal arts college presidents "is part of a broader effort by open access supporters to place higher education in a new position when the debate is renewed next year."

Jaschik writes, "The letter from the liberal arts college presidents is straightforward. It says that their institutions can’t afford rising journal prices, that their faculties and students want more access to journals than the institutions can provide, and that liberal arts colleges play a key role in producing future Ph.D.’s, so their exposure to journals matters." The letter states, "Adoption of the Federal Research Public Access Act will democratize access to research information funded by tax dollars. It will benefit education, research, and the general public."

Read the complete story at Inside Higher Ed, and access the letter by clicking here.