Congress Proposes Plan to Require Free Access to NIH-Funded Papers

Congress Proposes Plan to Require Free Access to NIH-Funded Papers
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pubmed centralThe journal Nature reports that on June 13, the House of Representatives amended a spending bill to require National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant recipients to submit their papers to PubMed Central within 12 months of publication. PubMed is a free online archive of papers covering biomedical and life sciences. Those who stand to lose if the bill passes are mainly publishers and scientific research societies who depend on exclusive publication rights of scientific articles to secure their subscription income. NIH grantees are currently requested to submit their published papers to PubMed, but they are not required to do so. According to Nature, "Some journals do not allow copyedited versions to be posted on PubMed Central. This means two versions of the same research paper can be published: a peer-reviewed manuscript version held in PubMed Central and a journal version complete with copyedits and other mostly cosmetic modifications. The PubMed Central version would also not necessarily link to the journal that published the paper." These efforts by Congress may soon cover not only NIH, but all federally funded programs, which would include the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA. "In May, for example, Joseph Lieberman and John Cornyn introduced a bill that would require that all federal US agency grantees with annual research budgets of more than $100 million make their research papers freely available within six months of publication." Ironically enough, the link to the Nature article requires a subscription - or you could buy access to the article (not the whole issue of the journal, just the one article) for only $30. Maybe Congress is onto something.
Submitted by elementlist on Jun 26, 2006
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