Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, February 04, 2005

More on the NIH policy

Randolph Schmid, NIH Seeks Speedy Public Release of Data, Associated Press (this copy from the Kansas City Star), February 3, 2005. Excerpt: 'Scientists should make their findings from new research available to the public promptly, and no later than a year after a study has appeared in print, the National Institutes of Health recommended on Thursday. "My goal is to change the landscape of scientific publishing" to increase public access to information developed with the NIH's financial support, said the institutes' director, Dr. Elias Zerhouni. Beginning May 2, NIH will strongly encourage researchers to make their findings available as soon as possible, he said. Most scientific findings are published in peer-reviewed journals. Subscriptions to various journals can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Patient advocates have complained that such costs limit access to this information. They have sought immediate and free access to research produced with the help of taxpayers, such as studies funded by NIH...."The chief problem with the new rule is that it could significantly delay public access to publicly funded medical research," Suber said in a statement, adding that since it is voluntary, some scientists could decide not to release their findings at all. "The new rule also creates a difficult dilemma for NIH-funded scientists by forcing them to choose between their funding agency and their publisher. The NIH will ask authors to choose early public release and many publishers will ask authors to choose late public release," he said.'