Public Access Mandate Made Law (fwd)

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2007 00:13:35 +0000

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2007 15:17:35 -0500
From: Jennifer McLennan <jennifer -->
Subject: [ATA-MEMBERS] Public Access Mandate Made Law

Alliance for Taxpayer Access

For immediate release
December 26, 2007

Jennifer McLennan
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121

President Bush signs omnibus appropriations bill,
including National Institutes of Health research access provision

Washington, D.C. ­ December 26, 2007 ­ President Bush has signed into law
the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007 (H.R. 2764), which includes a
provision directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide the
public with open online access to findings from its funded research. This is
the first time the U.S. government has mandated public access to research
funded by a major agency.

The provision directs the NIH to change its existing Public Access Policy,
implemented as a voluntary measure in 2005, so that participation is
required for agency-funded investigators. Researchers will now be required
to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the
National Library of Medicine¹s online archive, PubMed Central. Full texts of
the articles will be publicly available and searchable online in PubMed
Central no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.

"Facilitated access to new knowledge is key to the rapid advancement of
science," said Harold Varmus, president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center and Nobel Prize Winner. "The tremendous benefits of broad,
unfettered access to information are already clear from the Human Genome
Project, which has made its DNA sequences immediately and freely available
to all via the Internet. Providing widespread access, even with a one-year
delay, to the full text of research articles supported by funds from all
institutes at the NIH will increase those benefits dramatically."

"Public access to publicly funded research contributes directly to the
mission of higher education,² said David Shulenburger, Vice President for
Academic Affairs at NASULGC (the National Association of State Universities
and Land-Grant Colleges). ³Improved access will enable universities to
maximize their own investment in research, and widen the potential for
discovery as the results are more readily available for others to build

³Years of unrelenting commitment and dedication by patient groups and our
allies in the research community have at last borne fruit,² said Sharon
Terry, President and CEO of Genetic Alliance. ³We¹re proud of Congress for
their unrelenting commitment to ensuring the success of public access to
NIH-funded research. As patients, patient advocates, and families, we look
forward to having expanded access to the research we need.²

³Congress has just unlocked the taxpayers¹ $29 billion investment in NIH,²
said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing
and Academic Resources Coalition, a founding member of the ATA). ³This
policy will directly improve the sharing of scientific findings, the pace of
medical advances, and the rate of return on benefits to the taxpayer."

Joseph added, ³On behalf of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, I¹d like to
thank everyone who worked so hard over the past several years to bring about
implementation of this much-needed policy.²

For more information, and a timeline detailing the evolution of the NIH
Public Access Policy beginning May 2004, visit the ATA Web site at


The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of patient, academic,
research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to
the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to
urge that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research
become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the
American public. Details on the ATA may be found at

Jennifer McLennan
Director of Communications
(the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
(202) 296-2296 ext 121
jennifer --
Received on Thu Dec 27 2007 - 00:29:50 GMT

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