Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

OA mandate at NIH now law

This morning President Bush signed the omnibus spending bill requiring the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to mandate OA for NIH-funded research.  

Here's the language that just became law:

The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.

For the major steps along the way, and my evaluation of the bill, see my three newsletter articles from August, November, and December.

Here's a fast recap:  In July 2007 (for the second time) the House of Representatives adopted an appropriations bill requiring an OA mandate at the NIH.  In October 2007 (for the first time) the Senate adopted the same language.  In November, President Bush vetoed the bill for reasons unrelated to the NIH provision, and the House failed to muster enough votes to override the veto.  Congress responded by combining many of the vetoed appropriations into one omnibus bill, cutting spending down to levels that the President could accept, and retaining the NIH provision without modification. 

Thanks to all supporters of open access in Congress and the Executive branch, including the NIH itself.  Thanks to SPARC and the Alliance for Taxpayer Access for their energetic and effective work with policy-makers.  Thanks to Heather Joseph for her masterful and untiring leadership of both organizations.  Thanks to all of you who wrote to your Representatives and Senators to support public access for publicly-funded research.  Thanks, Santa! 

More later, you can bet.