Re: A Simple Way to Optimize the NIH Public Access Policy

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_Princeton.EDU>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2006 16:03:31 -0400

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Perhaps we should not be reproaching Dr. Zerhouni for emphasising this
elaborate justification. It might represent the familiar device of asking
for something for internal bureaucratic use, which incidentally provides a
public benefit that some might otherwise resist, whether from
misunderstanding or self-interest.

I add some details to Stevan's explanation that it makes no sense to say that

"number one, NIH needs a database of the
    research it funds so that it can have accountability and the ability
    to analyze its own portfolio."

It has had one for years. All the published articles are in PubMed,
with specal subject terms, introduced in 1975 and updated in 2005:
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Research Support, U.S. Gov^t, Non-P.H.S.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov^t
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
and also an indexing field for Grant Number GR,
 all explained in detail in
Having identified them, he must know that the NIH has the best possible
access to all the documents therein: it has its own excellent biomedical
library, with the NLM as backup.
Would that every university were as well provided for.

Varmus as director of NIH used to start his talks on OA
by saying, as I remember it, that
"I myself can immeditely be supplied with
any article I might possibly need,
and I want the same for everybody else."
Dr. David Goodman
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University
and formerly
Princeton University Library

> Stevan Harnad
Received on Sat Jul 08 2006 - 17:38:48 BST

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