Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Time is short to comment on the NIH policy

Public comments on the OA mandate at the NIH are due by 5:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time), Saturday, May 31, 2008, less than two days from now

Submit your comments through the NIH web form.  But before you do, see some of the comments already submitted.  The pro-OA comments will give you ideas, and the anti-OA comments will show you what objections to answer and what perspective might predominate if you don't send in your own.

This time the NIH wants separate answers to four separate questions.  The web form has four separate spaces for them:

  1. Do you have recommendations for alternative implementation approaches to those already reflected in the NIH Public Access Policy?
  2. In light of the change in law that makes NIH’s public access policy mandatory, do you have recommendations for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy?
  3. In addition to the information already posted [here], what additional information, training or communications related to the NIH Public Access Policy would be helpful to you?
  4. Do you have other comments related to the NIH Public Access Policy?

If you're thinking that the NIH just concluded a round of public comments for its March 20 meeting, you're right.  See the comments generated by that round (and my blog post on them).  One persistent publisher objection is that the policy has not been sufficiently vetted and one purpose of the new round no doubt is to give the stakeholders one more chance to speak.  We must use it.  Publishers will.

Please submit a comment and spread the word.  Even if you have no suggestions to improve the policy, it's important to express your support.

Update (5/30/08, 1:15 pm).  I just submitted my own comment.  It's already up on the page of comments already submitted.  If you haven't submitted your own, feel free to use what you want from mine.  But for maximum impact, please customize it!  I haven't read all the comments already submitted, but I can strongly recommend the long, detailed comment submitted this morning by Heather Joseph on behalf of SPARC.  (Load the page of comments and search for "SPARC".)

UpdatePeter Murray-Rust wonders whether non-Americans may submit comments.  The answer is yes.  There are already comments online from Canada, Germany, India, and the UK.  The policy has international implications, most directly for readers outside the US, but also indirectly for authors, libraries, universities, societies, publishers, funding agencies, and governments outside the US.