Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, August 30, 2004

NIH Fact Sheet for Public Access Publishing

The NIH has prepared a Fact Sheet on Public Access Publishing that it sent to participants in today's invitation-only stakeholder meeting on the open-access plan. Excerpt: "The goals of the agency specifically include expanding the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences, in order to enhance the Nation's well-being and ensure a continued high return on the public investment in research. The sharing of ideas, data, and research findings has always been encouraged by NIH as a primary mechanism for accomplishing these objectives....NIH is aware of many of the implications of possible changes to the current publishing model. As the agency works towards the development of a policy statement on public access publishing, two important goals must be considered: first, the need to give the public taxpayers who support NIH research better access to the results of its investment; and second, the need for NIH to have a full compendium of research results including clinical trials outcomes that it can use to manage its research portfolio and monitor scientific productivity. An additional consideration is the need to preserve the ability of journals and publishers to play a major role in peer review and to facilitate information transfer. As part of on-going efforts to gather input on this issue, NIH Director Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni is holding a series of meetings to consider the concerns of affected parties including publishers, scientists, and patient advocates. The NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts will publish a draft policy statement in September for public comment. This draft policy will take into account the input that NIH receives on this issue, and present a clear description of the agency's position and planned actions in the area of public access. In December, NIH will report to Congress on its consultations and proposed next steps."