Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, September 27, 2007

U of California supports an OA mandate at the NIH

The University of California has released a September 24 letter from Provost Wyatt Hume to Senator Diane Feinstein, supporting an OA mandate at the NIH.  Here's the entire letter, minus the salutation and valediction:

On behalf of the University of California, I write in support of Section 221 of S.1710, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2008. Section 221 directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to change its Public Access Policy requiring all investigators funded by NIH to submit an electronic version of their final peer-reviewed manuscripts to the on-line archive of the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central (PMC), which would then make the manuscript available within twelve months of the official date of publication and in a manner consistent with copyright law. An identical provision is included in the FY 2008 LHHS bill approved by the House in July.

This change in research publication policy was requested by NIH to achieve goals that are shared by UC health scientists and by researchers worldwide: to expand use of NIH research findings in the advancement of science and public health, enhance management of NIH's invaluable research portfolio and provide for a timely, sustainable and openly accessible archive of research results arising from the substantial investments of U.S. taxpayers, and of public and private institutions where that research is conducted, including the campuses of the University of California.

The provision maximizes research impact and dissemination of new knowledge and appropriately recognizes and preserves the integrity of peer-reviewed journals, whose role is vital to the conduct of science, by providing a twelve month embargo period that protects publishers’ subscription revenue.

The University of California echoes the sentiments of a recent open letter of 26 Nobel laureates (four of whom are affiliated with UC, including UC San Francisco Chancellor Michael Bishop), that stated, “the time is now for Congress to enact this enlightened policy to ensure that the results of research conducted by NIH can be more readily accessed, shared and built upon to maximize the return on our collective investment in science and to further the public good.”

Thank you for your tireless support of the University of California and our commitment to enhancing the nation’s public health through the endless pursuit of knowledge and scientific discovery.

Comment.  Kudos to the U of California and Provost Hume.  I hope this will inspire other institutions, and individual citizens, to contact their Senators before the week is out.