Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, February 04, 2005

More on the NIH policy

Andrew Hawkins, "NIH Public Access Policy Announced, Effect In May 2005", Washington Fax, February 4, 2005 (the article is not online). Excerpt: ' "The most significant change in the policy from that originally proposed is to provide more flexibility for authors to specify the timing of the posting of their final manuscripts for public accessibility through PMC," according to the public access policy, which was posted on the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts Feb. 3....[NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni said,] "We do want to encourage publication as soon as possible after the date of publication by the publisher, but we do recognize that flexibility will maximize participation, and that was the intent of the change. It wasn't to go from a six-month 'date-certain' to a 12-month 'date-certain' and nothing before that,' he said. "The spirit is maximum flexibility for maximum participation, recognizing that one size does not fit all." '

(PS: If the NIH really wants "maximum participation", then the policy should require participation, not merely request it. The "flexibility" introduced by reducing the requirement to a request will not ensure full participation. It will ensure that some grantees will participate and some won't.)