Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, February 04, 2005

More on the NIH policy

Erika Check, NIH reveals open-access policy, Nature, February 4, 2005. Excerpt: 'But both sides of the open-access debate also have voiced criticisms. Advocates of full open access to scientific literature are unhappy that the policy relies on voluntary participation from authors, and that it does not require public access within six months of publication - a deadline that Zerhouni had proposed in a draft version. "This is a retreat from the earlier version of the policy, and the retreat is unjustified and regrettable," says Peter Suber, director of the Open Access Project at Public Knowledge, a non-profit advocacy group in Washington DC. Suber and other critics also say that it would put researchers in the difficult position of having to negotiate between the NIH, which wants researchers to make their work available as soon as possible, and journals, which may want researchers to wait. Publishers and societies that draw income from publishing have also criticized some aspects of the policy. They object to the NIH's plan to archive papers on its own site, instead of simply directing the public to journal websites, branding it a waste of public money. NIH officials estimate that the archive will cost between $2 million and $4 million a year to run.'