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PRISM Coalition lobbies against open access

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Forces are mashaling to oppose the open access movement, the open source-inspired movement to make academic research publicly available online. The American Association of Publishers (AAP) recently announced the creation of the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine (PRISM), an apparent lobby group organized to resist efforts to compel academic publishers to make publicly funded research generally available.

PRISM's methods appear eerily similar to those used to oppose legislation to make public documents available in an open format, as well as the actions against free downloads by such organizations as the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America.

"It's really designed to oppose open access with all kinds of misinformation," says Leslie Chan, a senior lecturer at the University of Toronto and one of the founding members of the open access movement.

Little is known about PRISM or its supporters, aside from the fact that they are using AAP resources.

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