US House of Representatives tells NIH to adopt an OA mandate

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2006 06:37:33 +0100

 Excerpted from Peter Suber's Open Access News

> House of Representatives tells NIH to adopt an OA mandate
> PETER SUBER: "In the Appropriations Bill for fiscal 2007, the
> U.S. House Appropriations Committee is directing the NIH to converting
> its OA request to an OA requirement. Finally. The bill isn't online
> yet but... the Alliance for Taxpayer Access described the
> news in its press release tonight...
> "This is big. The House is telling the NIH to adopt an OA
> mandate, even if it isn't telling it to shorten the permissible
> delay. The Senate hasn't weighed in yet, but there's only one
> more hurdle to clear. Effort will now focus on getting the Senate
> Appropriations Committee to support the OA mandate and shorten the
> permissible delay. If the House is willing to demand an OA mandate
> at the NIH, then it may also be willing to adopt the CURES Act and
> FRPAA, two bills introduced in the Senate that would mandate OA to
> publicly-funded research within and beyond the NIH. More later."

Now all that's needed is for the NIH (and CURES and FRPAA) to make one
tiny parametric change in their mandate -- mandating the deposit of the
full-text and metadata *immediately* upon acceptance for publication --
transferring the allowable delay instead to the date at which access
to the full-text is set to OA. (Till then it can be Closed Access,
where necessary -- i.e. only for about 6% of journal articles -- but the
semi-automatic email-eprint request feature of the repository software
can meanwhile allow individual eprint requests to bridge the access gap
during any embargo period). (The allowable embargo should of course also
be made as short as possible.)

Bravo to the US for taking the lead from the dithering UK/RCUK (but
let us not forget that no country has yet made the mandate law, so the
historic role of being the first to do so is still open to the UK, US,
Europe or any other enterprising nation, large or small!).

Stevan Harnad
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Received on Fri Jun 16 2006 - 06:41:24 BST

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