In the Know - December 14, 2005 (fwd)

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 11:26:05 +0000

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 23:30:59 -0500
From: Peter Suber <>
Reply-To: SPARC Open Access Forum <>
To: SPARC Open Access Forum <>
Subject: [SOAF] In the Know - December 14, 2005

[Forwarding from Public Knowledge. --Peter.]

  In the Know - a (usually) bimonthly Public Knowledge update

December 14, 2005


* Open Internet Up for Hill Discussion
* NIH Gets Strong Recommendation on Open Access
* New Fair Use Report Sets Out Strong Case


  Advisers Recommend Stronger Open Access Policy

The Public Access Working Group at the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) has made some solid recommendations for improving the obviously
failing open access policy. The group, at its November 15 meeting,
recommended changing the open access policy so that instead of simply
requesting authors of publicly funded research to post their papers,
the authors would be required to post them to PubMed Central, NIH's
online repository.

The Working Group also said that the current delay in publishing
papers online should be only six months after publication in a printed
journal, rather than the current 12 months.

In response, the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA), of which PK is a
member, put out a statement in support of the recommendations and sent
a letter Dec. 6 to Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni asking that the
recommendations from the Working Group be promptly implemented.

As the ATA pointed out, it's obvious that the current policy isn't
working. If all of the NIH-funded researchers complied with the
policy, about 5,000 papers would be submitted in a single month.
Fewer than 2,000 have been submitted from May through September.

Meanwhile, Congress is starting to get more involved. Sen. Joseph
Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) are expected soon
to introduce formally legislation mandating publication of
taxpayer-funded information. Their bill, announced Dec. 7 when the
Senate was not in session, would create the American Center for Cures
(ACC) within NIH. The bill would require, among its many provisions
that taxpayer-funded research be posted to PubMed Central within six
months of publication. The enforcement mechanism is quite simple -
grantees or Federal government employees who don't follow the rules
would lose future funding for their projects.

PK believes the bill is a good idea. Peter Suber, director of PK's
Open Access project, said, "The CURES Act should greatly accelerate
the translation of fundamental medical research into therapies. At
Public Knowledge we especially applaud the public-access provisions,
which assure free online access to all medical research conducted by
the Department of Health and Human Services. The NIH was the
trail-blazer here, but its online access policy called for voluntary
participation and allowed long delays before researchers, healthcare
professionals, and the public could see the results of NIH-funded
research. The Act would make the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services a worldwide leader in providing public access to publicly
funded medical research."

Responses (other than PK's) to the NIH Working Group recommendations
are here:

Information on the Lieberman-Cochran bill is here. This is the news
release. Links to a summary and analysis of the bill are in this


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Received on Thu Dec 15 2005 - 12:22:09 GMT

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