High Drama Marks Hearing Over Free Access to Published Research

A life-and-death battle is going on over public access to federally financed research — life for taxpayers and many scientists, and death for publishers. Or so each side claims. That battle, whose outcome will affect many university researchers, kicked into high gear on Capitol Hill on September 11, as the combatants debated the merits of a bill that would curtail the public-access policy of the National Institutes of Health.

The hearing, held by a House of Representatives