• September 1, 2014

University-Press Leader Quit Publishers' Panel Over Anti-Open-Access Campaign

At least one top university-press director spoke out against the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine, or Prism, a controversial new anti-open-access campaign sponsored by the Association of American Publishers, before it went public.

In an e-mail message, James D. Jordan, president and director of Columbia University Press, told The Chronicle today that he had tendered his resignation from the Executive Council of the AAP’s Professional and Scholarly Publishing division on August 28, five days after Prism was announced. A task force of the Executive Council put the campaign together.

“I resigned from the Executive Council because I did not feel that serving at this time was the best use of my time or Columbia resources,” Mr. Jordan wrote, “and because I had vocally opposed the launch of the Prism Web site and did not subscribe to arguments supporting it and opposing the NIH’s public-access proposals.” (The National Institutes of Health’s PubMed Central, a service of the National Library of Medicine, is a key venue of the open-access movement.)

Mr. Jordan said that his press remained “a member of PSP and the AAP, as both associations serve important educational missions for the scholarly-publishing community even though we do not always agree with every majority view of such a diverse community.”

Another university-press leader, Stephen Bourne, chief executive officer of Cambridge University Press, has also made clear his displeasure about Prism. In an e-mail message to The Chronicle, he wrote that Cambridge “has in no way been involved in, or consulted on, the Prism initiative.” He added that “Prism’s message is oversimplistic and ill-judged, with the unwelcome consequence of creating tension between the publishing community and the proponents of open access.” —Jennifer Howard

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