Publishers had been asked to submit their documents up to a brand new database called PubMed Central within half a year of book. The journals, perhaps not the writers, would retain copyright. While the compromise that is biggest: Participation ended up being voluntary. The hope, Eisen states, ended up being that the “good guys” (the systematic communities) would perform some thing that is right plus the “bad dudes” (the commercial writers) would look bad and finally cave in.
It absolutely was wishful reasoning. All of the communities refused to participate—even following the proprietary period had been extended to per year. “I nevertheless feel quite miffed,” says Varmus, whom now operates the nationwide Cancer Institute, “that these medical communities, that should be acting like guilds to create our enterprise more powerful, have now been terribly resistant to advances into the publishing industry.”
In September 2000, sick and tired with the recalcitrance associated with writers, Eisen, Brown, and Varmus staged a boycott. Within an available page, they pledged they would no further publish in, sign up to, or peer-review for almost any journal that declined to indulge in PubMed Central. Almost 34,000 scientists from 180 countries signed on—but this, too, had been a breasts. “The writers knew that they had the experts throughout the barrel,” Eisen says. “They called our bluff. This all occurred appropriate that I was being insane as I got hired at Berkeley, and I was very clearly advised by my colleagues. I might never ever get tenure if i did son’t toe a far more traditional publishing line.”