Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, August 30, 2004

ATA letter to NIH

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has publicly released its August 26 letter to Elias Zerhouni, Director of the NIH, in support of the NIH open-access plan. Excerpt: "The widespread dissemination of medical advances and scientific findings is critical to obtaining the best return possible on our nation's investment in research. Unfortunately, most Americans effectively do not have access to the results of research paid for with their tax dollars....Today's technology is not being used optimally to facilitate the open and rapid exchange of publicly supported science within and across our borders. The vast majority of federally-funded published research is available only through increasingly costly journal subscriptions....This closed system leaves the American public -- including physicians, public health professionals, patients and patient groups, students, teachers, librarians and scientists at academic institutions, hospitals, research laboratories, and corporate research centers -- under-informed about important, timely research results they helped finance. In the age of the Internet, it is no longer acceptable that millions of Americans lack access to this credible, peer-reviewed research to inform their work, their studies and their personal healthcare decisions....The proposal to place the majority of the final manuscripts of NIH research in PubMed Central six months following publication is a smart and timely solution to a mounting public issue....Please accept the support of the undersigned for your efforts to provide open access to taxpayer-funded research."