Open Access News

News from the open access movement


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

AIDS coalition supports the NIH policy

The AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition has released its September 19 letter to its Congressional delegation, supporting the NIH policy and opposing the Conyers bill.  (Thanks to the ATA.)  Excerpt:

...AVAC is a volunteer and nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to accelerating ethical research and global delivery of vaccines and other HIV prevention options to fight the AIDS pandemic. We are writing to you because we strongly support the NIH Public Access Policy. That policy facilitates more rapid public access to federally funded research findings and is a critically important new step in developing cures and treatments for diseases such as HIV/AIDS. We believe that the best hope for the development of new HIV prevention tools such as an AIDS vaccine rests with the synergies, efficiencies and collaborations that are effected when government funded research is widely available....

This consumer-centered measure [the NIH policy] is a long over-due means to enhance public health education, speed the translation of scientific advances into quality, affordable health care, and empower patients in their health care decisions. Given this significant investment of public funds, patients, academics and researchers deserve to have free, timely, and complete access to these articles and should not have to pay thirty dollars or more for the privilege of viewing a single article. This is not an insignificant expense since a single health issue may involve citation to dozens of related individual articles....Our tax dollars underwrite this research, and we have a right to access the results of this critical biomedical information....

The traditional system for sharing research results is fundamentally imbalanced, restricting access to research funded by tax dollars to the institutions that can afford access. The NIH policy begins to restore balance to this system, by beginning to unlock the billions of dollars in research funded by the taxpayers each year, and make it available to the scientists, researchers, doctors, patients, and taxpayers who need it....