Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cornell library supports the NIH policy

The Cornell University Library released its letter to its Congressional representative, supporting the NIH policy and opposing the Conyers bill.  (Thanks to the ATA.)  The letter is undated but was apparently sent before the September 11 hearing on the anti-OA bill.  Excerpt:

...The benefits of the [NIH] Policy have been wide-spread. For faculty authors, deposit in PubMed Central (PMC) will maximize the visibility of their NIH-funded research, thus benefiting the authors and the journals in which they publish.

From the perspective of the Library, the Policy addresses one of our major concerns: the long-term preservation of research results published in electronic form. A decade’s worth of research by Cornell Library staff has demonstrated the fragility of most electronic publishing schemes and the difficulty faced by libraries in meeting their traditional role as preservation repositories for published literature. Deposit in PubMed Central ensures that the research results will be preserved in a state-of-the-art digital repository.

For the general public, free access after twelve months ensures that researchers and students around the world can eventually read and build on the work, regardless of their (or their library's) ability to subscribe to the journal in which the research is published. Public access to publicly funded research contributes directly to the mission of higher education.

The NIH Public Access Policy has also played an important role in the University’s copyright education initiatives. It highlights an important truth about copyright: namely, that copyright consists of a bundle of rights that the copyright owner (the author) can assign or keep as he or she sees fit....

The need to preserve the rights needed to comply with the NIH Policy when negotiating copyright transfers with publishers has led some faculty to consider what other rights in their work they may wish to preserve. The NIH Policy has helped make them more-informed copyright owners....