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ISCB Celebrates Withdrawal of Research Works Act

Dear ISCB Members and Colleagues,

As has been reported widely, the Research Works Act (RWA) that was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives late last year was withdrawn by the bill's sponsors on February 27th. ISCB took a strong stand against this bill that posed the latest threat to public access to federally funded research results. ISCB President, Burkhard Rost, together with Richard Lathrop, ISCB Public Affairs & Policies Committee Chair, and Scott Markel, ISCB Publications and Communications Committee Chair, signed a letter expressing our opposition and emphasizing the importance of the ISCB Public Policy Statement on Open Access to Scientific and Technical Research Literature. The letter was personalized and sent to each of the 39 members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the content of the letter was shared with all ISCB members and many of our scientific colleagues around the world. As a result, several scientific news publications and blogs reported on ISCB's efforts, and we considered it a victory when Elsevier withdrew its support of RWA days later and the bill was withdrawn soon thereafter.

Although the tides may be turning in favor of public access in the long run, it is doubtful that this will be the last veiled attempt to obstruct such access. If you are a member of ISCB and have not yet signed on to our policy statement, you can still do so at any time via the link to current signatories on the policy page noted above.

Thank you,

BJ Morrison McKay, ISCB Executive Officer

on behalf of Burkhard Rost, Richard Lathrop, Scott Markel, and the ISCB Board of Directors