Mandated OA for publicly-funded medical research in the US

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 17:15:30 +0000

Re-posted from Peter Suber's Open Access News

    Mandated OA for publicly-funded medical research in the US

    Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) introduced a bill into the U.S. Senate
    yesterday that would mandate OA to publicly-funded medical research
    within four months of its publication. Officially titled the American
    Center for Cures Act of 2005, the bill is informally known as the
    CURES Act. It would create a new agency within the NIH, the American
    Center for Cures (ACC), whose primary mission would be to translate
    fundamental research into therapies. The bill is very large and covers
    a lot of territory, but for our purposes the critical part is Section
    499H. Like the existing NIH policy, the CURES Act would apply only
    to the author's final peer-reviewed manuscript, although copyright
    holders would have the option to replace it with the final published
    text. Public access would be provided by PubMed Central. The bill
    goes beyond the NIH policy in several important ways. It requires
    free online access and does not merely request it. It shortens the
    permissible delay to four months. It extends the OA policy beyond
    the NIH to research funded by the Centers for Disease Control and
    Prevention and the Agency for Healthcare Research. Finally, it
    explicitly says that non-compliance may be a ground for the funding
    agency to refuse future funding. The bill is co-sponsored by Thad
    Cochran (R-MS).

    See the summary of the bill (discussing all its important provisions
    except the OA mandate), the section-by-section breakdown (the OA
    mandate is in Section 499H), and some quotations from supporters.

    (PS: This is a major step. It would effectively mandate OA to
    all medical research funded by the Department of Health and Human
    Services, making it more effective and wider in scope than the NIH
    public-access policy. More later, I promise.)

    Update. First a correction. The bill was introduced December 7,
    not December 8. Now some more links:

    * Press release from Senator Lieberman's office

    * Press release from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.

          'The Cures Bill is exactly the medicine that's needed,' said
          Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly
          Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and a leader of
          the ATA. 'It goes right to the heart of the case for unfettered
          access to publicly funded research. Senators Lieberman and
          Cochran took a close look at how best to speed development
          of treatments for diseases. Among their conclusions is that
          it's time we ensure the research we're already conducting is
          available to all potential users.' Pat Furlong, executive
          director of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and an ATA
          member, was also pleased with the bill. 'It recognizes how
          important the sharing of information is to speeding research
          and translating new knowledge into cures,' said Furlong. 'In
          the age of the Internet, it makes no sense for the results of
          taxpayer-funded research to be hidden away.'

Posted by Peter Suber:
Received on Fri Dec 09 2005 - 17:32:36 GMT

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