Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More on the bill to strengthen the NIH policy

Lila Guterman, Open-Access Policy Would Be Strengthened in House Panel's NIH Spending Bill, Chronicle of Higher Education blog, June 12, 2007.

The House Appropriations Committee will decide this week whether to strengthen the open-access publications policy of the National Institutes of Health. The shift, which appears in a 2008 spending bill for the Department of Health and Human Services, would make mandatory a policy that until now has been voluntary, according to Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, which advocates for open access. The bill was approved last week by a House Appropriations subcommittee.

The two-year-old policy requests but does not require that NIH grantees upload their research papers to an online repository no later than 12 months after publication. But not many scientists have made use of the repository. “Mandatory is a crucial element just because compliance is so low without it,” said Ms. Joseph.

PS:  There's still time for US citizens to ask their representatives to support this bill.  See the details from the ACRL and the frequent updates from the ATA.  The NIH is the world's largest funder of medical research, and its $28 billion budget results in about 65,000 peer-reviewed articles per year.  Strengthening its public access policy from a request to a requirement is a critical goal for OA and medical research.