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December 17, 2005

Mandated Open Public Access for publicly-funded medical research in the US

"Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) introduced a bill into the U.S. Senate yesterday that would mandate OA to publicly-funded medical research within four months of its publication. Officially titled the American Center for Cures Act of 2005, the bill is informally known as the CURES Act. It would create a new agency within the NIH, the American Center for Cures (ACC), whose primary mission would be to translate fundamental research into therapies. The bill is very large and covers a lot of territory, but for our purposes the critical part is Section 499H. Like the existing NIH policy, the CURES Act would apply only to the author's final peer-reviewed manuscript, although copyright holders would have the option to replace it with the final published text. Public access would be provided by PubMed Central. The bill goes beyond the NIH policy in several important ways. It requires free online access and does not merely request it. It shortens the permissible delay to four months. It extends the OA policy beyond the NIH to research funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Healthcare Research. Finally, it explicitly says that non-compliance may be a ground for the funding agency to refuse future funding. The bill is co-sponsored by Thad Cochran (R-MS).

See the summary of the bill (discussing all its important provisions except the OA mandate), the section-by-section breakdown (the OA mandate is in Section 499H), and some quotations from supporters.

(PS: This is a major step. It would effectively mandate OA to all medical research funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, making it more effective and wider in scope than the NIH public-access policy. More later, I promise.)

Source: Peter Suber OA Newss. Mandated OA for publicly-funded medical research in the US. (9 Dec 2005) [FullText] [Followup comments]


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