Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, August 01, 2005

More on low compliance with the NIH request

Constance Holden, NIH's Public Access Trickle, Science Magazine, July 29, 2005.
Last year, a huge scuffle broke out over a National Institutes of Health (NIH) plan to ask grantees to submit their accepted papers to a free archive. Open-access advocates hailed the move,whereas journals said they would be bankrupted (Science, 3 September 2004, p. 1386). But 2 months after the policy went into effect, most researchers seem to be ignoring it. As of 2 July, NIH’s PubMed Central had received only about 300 papers, a mere 3% of the 11,000 expected if all NIH grantees complied.Two-thirds of authors said NIH could post their paper immediately upon publication, and the rest asked for a delay. Timothy Hays of NIH’s extramural research office says the figure is “not surprising” because many grantees are waiting for their institutions to tell them how to respond to the new policy and for guidance from journals. But Sharon F.Terry, president of the Genetic Alliance, says it may be time for NIH to rethink things. “If we were … investing in a new business, and we saw early performance returns at the rate of 3%,we would not wait to reexamine our strategy,” she says.