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Comments on the content and presentation of the newsletter are also appreciated.
Kristi S. Multhaup
Mark E. Faust
Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte
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University of Missouri
University of Iowa
Members-At-Large of the
David Washburn (08-11)
Jeremy Wolfe (08-11)
Mark Bouton (07-10)
University of Vermont
Nora Newcombe (07-10)
Gil Einstein (06-09)
Karen Hollis (06-09)
Mount Holyoke College
Graduate Student Representative
University of Iowa
Representative to APA Council
Emanuel Donchin (08-10)
University of South Florida
Thomas R. Zentall (07-09)
University of Kentucky
Michael Beran (Awards)
Mike Young (Fellows, 08-09)
Southern Illinois University
Emily Elliott (Program)
Charles L. Brewer
Early Career Psychologist
California State U. at Fullerton
APA Council Report
– Tom Zentall and Manny Donchin
Issues of potential interest to members of Division 3:
1. Much action, both on the floor and in the corridors, was triggered by an announcement on the APA web site that declared that henceforth the APA will levy a charge of $2,500 on the authors of any paper published in an APA journal if the paper reports research funded by NIH. The charge was intended to cover the costs of submitting the paper for inclusion in the public access data base PubMed. The announcement noted correctly that NIH allows such charges to be made to the grant supporting the project. This announcement caused considerable and understandable consternation in the science community. After the publication of the new policy, concern was expressed on the Council list serve prior to the Council meeting. APA’s response was immediate. Norman Anderson, the APA’s CEO, replied within a few hours and reported that the announced policy has been withdrawn and the matter will be discussed at the various levels of APA governance, including Council, before any action is taken.
Discussions during the Council meeting revealed that the policy was announced without discussion, or approval, by any APA body. The policy was triggered by a real problem, namely that NIH has instituted a policy that requires any paper that results from research funded by NIH to be submitted for public access to the PubMed data base. This policy clearly violates APA’s copyright to the published material. There is, however, general agreement that this is an issue that needs to be resolved between APA and NIH, or Congress, and that it is inappropriate and unwise to place the burden of the policy on the authors. Your representatives, working with other science divisions made sure that the matter was discussed during the Council meeting and we received public assurance from Norman Anderson that there is no intention to levy charges on authors in connection with the PubMed issue at this time. It was pointed out in information distributed to the Council that as we move ever further into the digital age, changes in the economics of publications may require changes in some long standing APA policies. Thus, at some future time we may encounter the imposition of page fees on papers published in APA journals. But such a change will not be made without extensive discussion among the units of APA governance.
2. A new mission statement was proposed but not voted on so it has not yet been adopted. It reads, “The mission of APA is to advance the creation, communication, and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.”
3. APA will fund a position through the International Union Psychological Science working with the World Health Organization concerned with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). At present there are two psychiatrists and no psychologists. This is a matter of some importance to anyone doing clinical research or involved in studying patients for any purpose as in the future the ICD may well replace the DSM as the standard for diagnosis and classification of psychopathology.
4. The report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and Psychological Science was accepted. IRBs were established to protect human subjects and facilitate research. However, there are many studies and reports that suggest that much of the burden imposed by IRB’s does not serve this mission and is a reflection of the accretion of bureaucratic inertia and serious mission creep. Council was presented with a brief summary of the Task Force conclusions, which seemed to agree that IRBs are often overly zealous in providing barriers to research and are generally negligent in one of their presumed missions, to promote research. The Task Force recommended that a board be established to monitor complaints about IRBs and when appropriate help investigators to challenge IRB decisions. A detailed report of the Task Force studies and conclusions will be published in a series of articles to appear in the American Psychologist.