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News from the open access movement

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

More on the NEH preference for OA projects

Karin Fischer, Historians and Humanities Endowment Clash Over Changes in Review Process for Grants, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 26, 2006. Excerpt:

The Association for Documentary Editing's letter [to the NEH]...criticized a recent change giving "preference" to scholars who make their projects available free online, which the scholars argued amounted to a requirement to do so. Mr. Bruns and others say that they are working to make more documents available online but argue that the rights to their work are frequently controlled by university presses that publish the work.

In response to that complaint, the NEH made "several small modifications" to its guidelines, Mr. McDonald wrote. The revised guidance now states that while the agency "encourages" online publication, it does not "require that all editions be published online or preclude applications from projects that intend print publication."

Elissa S. Pruett, director of communications for the NEH, said the online-publishing guidelines, originally published in August, did not apply to print-only applications and were part of an effort to make NEH-supported projects more broadly available to the public.

"It is one of the priorities of the endowment that these projects and papers be available not just to institutions and research libraries but reach a larger audience than they have in the past," Ms. Pruett said.

PS:  For background, see my two previous blog postings on the NEH policy (1, 2) --and remember that this is the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities), not the NIH (National Institutes of Health).