The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AASHL) and the Medical Library Association (MLA) share a commitment to intellectual freedom and access to information. We strongly oppose the suppression of opinion and censorship of ideas.
We believe that librarians must be able to openly assess publisher products or practices without intimidation.
We strongly support Dale Askey and McMaster University as they face the lawsuit brought against them by Edwin Mellen Press.
“ The free exchange of ideas and opinions is essential to academic work,” said Jane Blumenthal, President, Medical Library Association. “This exchange is often critical and sometime intemperate, but regardless, the assessment of information is an essential part of the work of librarians, faculty, libraries, and universities. Academic publishers, as partners in the process of scholarly communication, should not only expect but also welcome critical appraisal. The filing of a lawsuit in response to an expression of professional opinion will work to suppress free and open discussion and hinder the growth of knowledge.”
“Though we may work in different library environments, one common foundational and critical element of our work is the appraisal of information resources in support of our academic communities,” said M.J. Tooey, President, Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries. “These resources support the creation of new methods, of new theories, of new cures, and new pathways to knowledge. Any attempt to stifle professional opinion is an impediment to the scholarly process and a violation of freedom of speech in support of the advancement of scholarship.”
We urge Edwin Mellen Press to drop this suit.
Founded in 1898, MLA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, educational organization of 4,000 individual and institutional members in the health sciences information field that provides lifelong educational opportunities, supports a knowledgebase of health information research, and works with a global network of partners to promote the importance of quality information for improved health to the health care community and the public.
Released February 15, 2013.
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2013 February 21