Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, February 04, 2005

More on the NIH policy

Ted Agres, NIH announces 'open-access' rules, The Scientist, February 4, 2005. Excerpt: 'The new policy, effective May 2, 2005, "requests" that scientists voluntarily deposit electronic copies of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts with NIH's PubMed Central database "as soon as possible" after acceptance for publication. Authors can specify when their manuscripts would be publicly released, anywhere from immediately to 12 months after publication. The policy also places the burden on scientists to resolve any copyright disputes with journal publishers. "Scientists have a right to see the results of their work disseminated as quickly and broadly as possible," NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni said yesterday. "We urge publishers to work closely with authors in implementing this policy." Reaction from nonprofit medical and scientific publishers yesterday was sharp. The new rule "is wasteful of federal research dollars and a missed opportunity" to use existing Internet search technologies, representatives of six scientific societies representing nearly 30 nonprofit journals said in a statement....Supporters of open access were also critical of the new rule, calling it a "retreat" from NIH's earlier draft version, issued September, 3, 2004, that had specified public access within 6 months. "This policy is a step backward," stated Peter Suber, director of Public Knowledge's Open Access Project. "The policy is better than nothing, but it is a lot less than taxpayers deserved." '