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December 01, 2005

Experts Recommend NIH Public Access To Artciles Becomes a Requirement

Working group recommends strengthening NIH Public Access policy, Open Access Newsl reports:

Finally. The Public Access Working Group that advises the NIH on its public access policy has recommended strengthing the policy in the two ways most needed: (1) change the request to a requirement and (2) shorten the permissible delay to six months. The working group has not yet made a public statement. But the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA) issued a press release today summarizing and supporting the working group's recommendation. Excerpt:

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access, a national coalition of over 60 library, non-profit, and patient advocacy groups, today praised the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Working Group (PAWG) for recommending that researchers be required to deposit published articles resulting from NIH funding in PubMed Central (PMC), NIH’s online database of journal literature. At a November 15 meeting of the working group, a majority of members also called for articles to be freely available in PMC within six months of their publication in a journal. The current NIH policy is voluntary for funding recipients and allows access to be delayed for up to one year. Data presented to the working group indicates that less than five percent of eligible papers are being deposited in PMC. The Public Access Working Group’s recommendation is considered significant because of Congressional concern that the current policy has failed to achieve the goals set out by the policy. This past summer, the House and Senate called on NIH to report on the policy’s progress by early 2006....Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), says “We are pleased that the Public Access Working Group has pointed the way for NIH to achieve its goals of archiving NIH research, advancing science, and providing taxpayers with access to research.” SPARC is a founding member and administrator of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access."

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