Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, February 04, 2005

More on the NIH policy

Government-Financed Medical Research to Go Online, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 3, 2005. An unsigned news story. Excerpt: 'The policy is described as voluntary, and starts May 2. Articles will eventually be available in a Web-based archive managed by the National Library of Medicine, part of the NIH. "What we're really trying to do is create a momentum towards earlier publication while maximizing participation," Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, director of the NIH, said at a news conference. "We want to accomplish a change in the landscape of how scientific information is made available to the public while preserving the viability of the peer-review process which guarantees the integrity of that research." The issue of public access to scientific studies has been debated. Many feel the NIH should not be a conduit to the public for scientific research, but the agency's leadership felt the public had the right to see how its tax money was being spent. "We felt very strongly that change was needed," Zerhouni said. "Over 93 million Americans visit the Internet for medical information, and we strongly felt that it was not sufficient for us to maintain the status quo. Research is supported by the public, and it is essential in improving public health and public access to these publications."...Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), said, "I think it's great. This is nothing new for us. If it's important, we make it free to everybody in the world and everything [in JAMA] is free after six months. It's very important for the public to have access." A spokeswoman for the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) said that it already provided public access to much of its research for free. "Any material that's six months old or older is available on our Web site to the general public free of charge," said NEJM spokeswoman Karen Pedersen. "It just requires [online] registering." '

Update. The same story appears in Forbes for February 3, attributed to Amanda Gardner. Did the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reprint her story and delete her name?