Mandating OA around the corner?
harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Fri Jul 16 14:40:49 EST 2004
This is from Peter Suber's Open Access News
Rick Johnson, Director of SPARC, just sent this message to SPARC
members. I blog it here with his permission.
I want to alert you about an important development. Yesterday the
U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved an
important provision in connection with the FY 2005 National Institutes
of Health (NIH) appropriation. The Committee Report accompanying the
FY 2005 Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations
Bill recommends that NIH provide free public access to research
articles resulting from NIH-funded research. The Report calls on
NIH to offer access to authors' final manuscripts (as accepted for
journal publication) and supplemental materials via PubMed Central
six months after publication. If the grantee used NIH funds to pay
any publication charges (e.g., page or color charges, or fees for
digital distribution), PMC access would be immediate. The Report
instructs NIH to inform the Committee by December 1, 2004 how it
intends to implement the policy.
This proposal is a reasoned, incremental step that balances the
interests of taxpayers and publishers. We believe it will enhance
the nation's return on investment in NIH research and contribute to
the translation of bench science into clinical practice.
SPARC and its allies are working to ensure that the proposal is
endorsed in the Senate. In the coming days I will share with you
additional information, including steps you can take to demonstrate
PS: This is extraordinarily important news. It sensibly focuses on OA
archiving, which leaves authors free to publish in non-OA journals if
they like. It sensibly avoids the mistakes of the Sabo bill, such as
needlessly requiring the public domain rather than open access and
needlessly interfering with patentable discoveries. The NIH is the
largest funder of science in the US federal government, five times
larger than the second-largest funder, the NSF. Expect opposition, and
be prepared to support this proposal through personal and
institutional letters to members of Congress. I'll report further
details as I get them.
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