Society Publishers Fool Their Members, Fake Out The Terms Of NIH Plan on Open Access
Excerpt: "'An initiative of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to make the results of publicly funded research freely accessible to the public has triggered a backlash... The American Society of Hematology and the American Association for Cancer Research sent statements to members emphasising, "The NIH policy is a request; it is NOT a requirement." In an editorial in Blood James George, president of the American Society of Hematology, wrote, "Because NIH does not own the intellectual property of its grantees, it cannot enforce compliance." Harold Varmus, a Nobel laureate, former director of the NIH, and board member of the free access Public Library of Science, agreed that there were problems with the NIH policy. "The NIH policy is an imperfect policy and should have been stated in a stronger fashion. Researchers should be expected, not just encouraged, to do this," he said. "I applaud the NIH for taking some positive steps, but I'm not sure it's going to work if societies react this way. Most scientists are oblivious to or fearful of their rights as authors. If they think cooperating with the NIH policy causes any extra grief or difficulty with the journal they won't do it."
Source: Jeanne Lenzer. Medical societies react against public access to findings. British Medical Journal (14 May 2005) [FullText][OANews Record];Also see:NIH Manual for PMC authors. NIH Web Site (last viewed 26 May 2005) [FullText]