Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ask the Senate to support an OA mandate at the NIH

NIH public access moves forward in House; full Senate to consider, ACRL Legislative Update, August 1, 2007.  Excerpt:

Recent Developments: We've had a wonderful development recently in the ongoing effort to establish widespread public access to federally funded research. On July 19, the full House voted to pass the FY08 appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies. It included language that would require the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to make the results of funded research publicly accessible within 12 month of publication in peer-reviewed journals. (See H.R. 3043 section 217, pg 76-7.)

Current Status:  This is a big step toward making the policy a success; however, we need your help now more than ever. We expect that the full Senate will vote on their respective appropriations measure after the August recess. It is very likely that an amendment will be made on the floor of the Senate to delete or weaken the language about the NIH public access policy. It's critical that you express your support for the current language to your Senators during August.

Action Needed:

  1. Send a thank you note if your Representative voted yes to pass the House appropriations bill (check the roll call). Your legislators want to hear from you and need to know they did the right thing.
  2. Contact both of your Senators during August. While a phone call, e-mail or fax would work, consider taking advantage of the fact that they are home for the August recess. Make a visit to the local district office or invite your Senators to visit your library. Urge them to maintain the language put forth by the Senate appropriations committee on the NIH public access policy. Find talking points and contact info in the ALA Legislative Action Center.... 
  3. Talk about this issue with leaders on your campus -- your government relations office, library advisory committee, faculty senate -- to enlist individual and institutional support.

For additional background, listen to an interview with Heather Joseph of SPARC, read the last two issues of ACRL's Legislative Update, and go to the Alliance for Taxpayer Access website....


  • I support this call.  The House has approved the bill and now it's time to contact the Senate.  The vote hasn't been scheduled, but it's already overdue and could come very soon.  Time is short.  Spread the word!
  • For more background on where the bill stands now, see my SOAN story from last week, Progress toward an OA mandate at the NIH, one more time.