Fwd: First U.S. Public Access Policy Made Permanent

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 13:54:03 -0400

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On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 12:01 PM, Stacie Lemick <stacie_at_arl.org>

      For immediate release
      March 12, 2009

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


      first u.s. public access policy made permanent

      2009 Consolidated Appropriations Act ensures NIH public
      access policy will persist

      Washington, D.C. ? March 12, 2009 ? President Obama
      yesterday signed into law the 2009 Consolidated
      Appropriations Act, which includes a provision making the
      National Institutes? of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy
      permanent.  The NIH Revised Policy on Enhancing Public
      Access requires eligible NIH-funded researchers to
      deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed
      manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine?s
      online archive, PubMed Central (PMC). Full texts of the
      articles are made publicly available and searchable
      online in PMC no later than 12 months after publication
      in a journal.

      The NIH policy was previously implemented with a
      provision that was subject to annual renewal. Since the
      implementation of the revised policy the percentage of
      eligible manuscripts deposited into PMC has increased
      significantly, with over 3,000 new manuscripts being
      deposited each month. The PubMed Central database is a
      part of a valuable set of public database resources at
      the NIH, which are accessed by more than 2 million users
      each day. 

      The new provision reads in full:

      The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall
      require in the current fiscal year and thereafter that
      all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have
      submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's
      PubMed Central an electronic version of their final,
      peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication
      to be made publicly available no later than 12 months
      after the official date of publication: Provided, That
      the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a
      manner consistent with copyright law.

       ?This is a significant moment for all of us in the
      health community, and for efforts in health reform.  With
      free access to health research, individuals are empowered
      with the knowledge necessary to understand the health
      threats they and their families face,? said Sharon Terry,
      President and CEO of Genetic Alliance.   ?Congress
      recognizes the incredible power of technology and
      innovation in enabling new solutions for the proactive
      management of health, consumer-driven healthcare, and
      novel partnerships and collaborations in research.
       Congratulations to us all.?

      The NIH Public Access Policy addresses the public?s
      growing need for high-quality health information and
      promotes accelerated scientific advancement in the
      biomedical sciences.

      "Public access to publicly funded research contributes
      directly to the mission of higher education,? said David
      Shulenburger, Vice President for Academic Affairs at
      NASULGC (the National Association of State Universities
      and Land-Grant Colleges). ?Improved 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

      Heather Joseph, spokesperson for the Alliance for
      Taxpayer Access noted, ?Thanks to the work of a wide
      coalition of patients, libraries, researchers,
      publishers, students, and taxpayers, the results of
      NIH-funded research can be accessed ? and used  - in ways
      never before possible. The successful implementation of
      this policy will unlock the potential of this research to
      benefit the public as a whole. ?

      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

Received on Thu Mar 12 2009 - 17:55:25 GMT

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