ACRL Legislative Update v6, n3 (fwd)

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2007 00:54:44 +0100

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 19:26:41 -0400
From: Peter Suber <peters -->
To: SPARC Open Access Forum <>
Subject: [SOAF] ACRL Legislative Update v6, n3

[Forwarding from the ACRL. --Peter.]

ACRL Legislative Update
Volume 6, Number 3
May 30, 2007

Support Changing NIH Public Access Policy to
Mandatory in LHHS Appropriations Bill

Summary: The National Institutes of Health
currently has a policy in place designed to
encourage NIH-funded researchers to deposit the
final peer-reviewed manuscripts of their articles
in PubMed Central, the digital library of the
National Library of Medicine. The policy, which
is voluntary, calls on researchers to make their
research results openly accessible within one
year of acceptance in a peer-reviewed journal.
Under the voluntary policy, fewer than 4% of
eligible manuscripts have been deposited in
PubMed Central. Both the Board of Regents of the
National Library of Medicine and NIH Public
Access Working Group have concluded, "The NIH
Policy cannot achieve its stated goals unless
deposit of manuscripts becomes mandatory."

Issue for Libraries: The present system of
disseminating the results of publicly funded
research is badly broken and severely limits
access. The public pays for the research and very
often the salary of the researcher as well.
Research articles are then published in
peer-reviewed journals, which charge subscription
fees or per-article access fees. The cost of
subscriptions has risen three times faster than
inflation for more than 20 years and most
subscriptions are unaffordable for most
libraries. Journals typically demand to own copyright as well.

Changes in federal policy and legislation for
federally-funded research have the potential to
greatly increase research access for faculty,
students, and the general public, reversing to a
substantial extent the loss in access that has
resulted from journal price increases and
subscription cancellations by libraries. If
properly implemented, such policy changes will
also protect the system of peer-reviewed journals.

Current Status: Congress is taking up Labor,
Health and Human Services (LHHS) appropriations
again. Both the House and Senate are considering
LHHS appropriations bills, which could direct the
NIH to amend its existing voluntary public access policy to become mandatory.

Action Needed: We ask grassroots advocates to
work now to insert language supporting a
mandatory NIH public access policy into the
Senate and House versions of the LHHS
appropriations bill while the subcommittees are
still drafting. Specifically we ask you to:

(1) Schedule a visit to the local district
office of your legislators over the Memorial Day
recess (continues through Friday, June 1) or
Independence Day recess (July 2-6). Explain to
your Senator/Representative and his/her staff
members why you support this language. (Search by
zip code to find contact information at

(2) Meet with your college/university
government relations office and ask staff what
your institution can do to voice support.

(3) Send a message about this to others on
your campus and in your state asking them to take action.

Talking Points:

* Every year, the NIH funds billions of dollars
in scientific research. U.S. taxpayers
underwrite this research and they have a right to
expect that its dissemination and use will be
maximized, and also that they themselves will have access to it.

* Faster and wider sharing of knowledge fuels the
advance of science. Broad communication of
research results is an essential component of the
US government's investment in science. For the
first time, the Internet makes it possible to
share the latest scientific advances promptly
with every scientist, physician, educator, and citizen who wants them.

* NIH strongly supports this goal and has
instituted a voluntary system intended to make
scientific research more broadly available for
use. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons,
that system is not working. That is why NIH is
now asking Congress to include language in the
LHHS bill to make the program mandatory. In
fact, the House included similar language last
year (which we believe the Senate was going to
accept in conference), but due to the way the
appropriations process concluded, it did not become law.

* The language we are asking for this year (and
that was included last year) requires that
results of NIH-funded research be deposited and
preserved in an online database at NIH, freely
accessible to the public, within one year of
publication in a scientific journal.

(NOTE: Feel free to adapt these talking points
and other information above to create your own
one-page fact sheet to leave behind with your legislators.)

Targeted Legislators: While constituents of the
members listed below have an especially important
roll, we encourage all advocates to talk with
your legislators and their staff about public
access to federally funded research. If you
aren't a constituent, we suggest you find out
whether your legislators share committee
appointments with any of the members below and point that out to them.

HOUSE Committee on Appropriations

Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education, and Related Agencies


Chair: Dave Obey (WI)
Nita M. Lowey (NY)
Rosa L. DeLauro (CT)
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (IL)
Patrick J. Kennedy (RI)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA)
Barbara Lee (CA)
Tom Udall (NM)
Michael Honda (CA)
Betty McCollum (MN)
Tim Ryan (OH)


Ranking Member: James T. Walsh (NY)
Ralph Regula (OH)
John E. Peterson (PA)
Dave Weldon (FL)
Michael K. Simpson (ID)
Dennis R. Rehberg (MT)
Jerry Lewis (CA), Ex Officio

SENATE Committee on Appropriations

Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services,
Education, and Related Agencies


Chair: Senator Tom Harkin (IA)
Senator Daniel Inouye (HI)
Senator Herb Kohl (WI)
Senator Patty Murray (WA)
Senator Mary Landrieu (LA)
Senator Richard Durbin (IL)
Senator Jack Reed (RI)
Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ)


Ranking Member: Senator Arlen Specter (PA)
Senator Thad Cochran (MS)
Senator Judd Gregg (NH)
Senator Larry Craig (ID)
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
Senator Ted Stevens (AK)
Senator Richard Shelby (AL)

TIP: Make an Effective Visit with Your Legislator

In person visits with your member of Congress can
be powerful ways to communicate your points.
Legislators are more likely to believe and trust
you if they feel they know you. If you can't meet
with your member of Congress directly, get to
know their staff members. Legislative staff
members are powerful and make good allies.

Face-to face discussion is the most effective
means of communication and helps to establish a
solid working relationship. While politicians
have demanding schedules, they generally welcome
opportunities to stay in touch with their
constituents. Visits to district offices may be
easier^×and more relaxing^×for bo both advocates
and legislators. Meetings are typically very
brief^×10-15 minutes^×so prepare in advance using these tips:

* Know who to bring. Delegates should be
constituents, and citizen advocates should
outnumber staff. Keep the delegation small enough
for an easy exchange of views.

* Know how to make your case. Do your homework.
Make sure everyone understands and agrees on
grounds rules before the visit. Choose a
spokesperson who will lead the discussion, cover
the main points and keep the conversation
focused. Not everyone needs to speak to make a
contribution. Be prepared to answer hard questions.

* Know why you're there. Have a clear agenda.
Tell the legislator what specific legislation you
want him or her to support. Legislators can't
keep track of all pending legislation. Make it easy for them to help you.

* Know what you don't know. Practice your
presentation with at least one person who is
unfamiliar with your issues. They may point out
inconsistencies or ask questions that you've
overlooked. Edit your presentation accordingly.

* Know what to bring. Bring a policy statement or
fact sheets that supports your position. Keep
paper to a minimum^×one page is best.

(SOURCE: ALA Library Advocacy Now toolkit. Ways
to communicate - Visits

Learn about "Developing Informed and Engaged
Citizens: The Imperative for Higher Education"

Couldn't make it to National Library Legislative
Day in Washington, DC, May 1-2, 2007? View the
PowerPoint presentation and listen to an
interview with the speaker at ACRL's luncheon
during the briefing day at George L.
Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership
and Change at the American Association of State
Colleges and Universities, spoke to academic
librarians on, "Developing Informed and Engaged
Citizens: The Imperative for Higher Education."
Hear about his work on campuses through the
American Democracy Project and why he sees
academic libraries as, "citizenship centers" and
"more relevant now than ever in history."
Received on Fri Jun 01 2007 - 01:36:33 BST

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