Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Major university associations back the NIH policy

The Association of American Universities (AAU) and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) have released their February 19 letter to the House Judiciary Committee, supporting the NIH policy and opposing the Conyers bill

The online letter is an image scan and I only have time to rekey a short excerpt:

...The memberships of AAU and NASULGC include the major public and private research universities in the United States....

Our associations and their member universities have supported NIH's PubMed Central from its outset...

Because PubMed Central operates in manner that preserves the ability of journal publishers to continue to play their valuable role in the dissemination of new knowledge and discoveries, the only effect of H.R. 801 would be to deprive the public of the benefit of expanded access to the results of federally funded research....

Comment.  This is important.  It's the first time that the AAU has weighed in on behalf of the NIH policy, or the principle of OA for publicly-funded research.  The AAU has great weight in Congress on copyright issues affecting research and higher education, and great weight with its member institutions.  NASULGC is an equally significant voice, but this is not its first public endorsement of the NIH policy.  Kudos to John Vaughn (at AAU) and David Shulenburger (at NASULGC) for taking this step.

Another perspective:  With this letter, the major university associations in the US are joining the major library associations in supporting the NIH policy.