Friday, January 26, 2007

PR firm attacks open access

(via Open Access News) Journal publishers represented by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) have hired a PR firm in order to raise morale and attack open access publishing, according to a report in the journal Nature. "We're like any firm under siege, it's common to hire a PR firm when you're under siege." said the president of the AAP. According to the article:

"The consultant advised them to focus on simple messages, such as "Public access equals government censorship". He hinted that the publishers should attempt to equate traditional publishing models with peer review, and "paint a picture of what the world would look like without peer-reviewed articles"."
The twisted logic required to come up with the phrase "Public access equals government censorship" leaves me in uncomfortable awe. In some people's mind one can imagine that providing wider participation and access is wrong, but I truly cannot fathom the mental process which produces such line of thought. I am similarly amazed by the false dichotomy deployed by implying that open access equals the demise of peer-review.

This is what happens when you bring mindless PR firms into intellectual debates.

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