I’m concerned about issues of research being locked behind paywalls. The core of my reason is that research builds on other research, and wide availability helps science move forward. There’s also an issue that a great deal of science is funded by taxpayers, who are prevented from seeing their work. One of the organizations which locks science behind a paywall is the ACM. As it turns out, the ACM is having elections, and I’m a member, so I thought maybe I could usefully vote on this issue. So I went to the ACM website to see what’s being said on it. Here’s what I had to go through to find the answer:
- Are the elections important enough to be listed on the home page? Apparently not.
- Maybe it’s an issue of importance to the ACM Membership? Nah.
- Maybe I can find something about it on ACM US? That’s actually the “public policy” arm.
- So perhaps it’s a matter of who will be on Boards and Committess? No, that points to this page, which is highly informative.
- Maybe it’s under MyACM? Nope
- Ahhh! Finally, it’s under Membernet: here
And it turns out that there’s no one running for the board of the ACM who’s running on open access issues. That’s too bad.
So let me be very clear. I’m a one-issue voter for academic societies. I believe that open access to science is a key part of everything that these societies should be doing, and it’s the only part that involves change to the business, and thus controversey.
If you want my vote, run on an open access platform.
[Update: Don’t miss the comment by Brighten Godfrey, who’s been reaching out to the candidates, and gathering their positions.]