Access Archived News 2004

Reminder: Action Needed Now
Comments due Nov. 16 to NIH on proposal on public access to research

On September 3, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a proposed plan to make research articles based on NIH funding available to the public free of charge. These articles would be publicly available in NIH’s PubMed Central (PMC) within six months after their publication in a peer-reviewed journal. NIH has requested public comment on the plan prior to November 16, 2004.

Many organizations have expressed strong support for the NIH proposal, including various members of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, to which ALA belongs; the Association of American Universities; the Association of Independent Research Institutes; and the National Academy of Sciences. However, there is virgorous opposition from some parts of the publishing community, hence ALA urges libraries and individuals in the library community to provide their views to NIH. As set out in the September 3rd notice, your comments can be submitted through a simple web form, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/public_access/add.htm.

Despite the often misleading statements offered by its opponents, the NIH proposal is a well-reasoned, incremental step that carefully balances the interests of all the stakeholders.

Please act now to give your support to this very important effort.

ALA Letter of support [ pdf]

See links below (Nov. 1)


November 1:
Comments due Nov. 16 to NIH on proposal on public access to research
On September 3, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a proposed plan to make research articles based on NIH funding available to the public free of charge. These articles would be publicly available in NIH's PubMed Central (PMC) within six months after their publication in a peer-reviewed journal. NIH has requested public comment on the plan prior to November 16, 2004. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-04-064.html

Many organizations have expressed strong support for the NIH proposal, including various members of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, to which ALA belongs http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/NIH.html; the Association of American Universities [ pdf]; the Association of Independent Research Institutes [ pdf]; and the National Academy of Sciences http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/s09162004?OpenDocument. However, there is considerable opposition from some parts of the publishing community, hence ALA urges libraries and individuals in the library community to provide their views to NIH. As set out in the September 3rd notice, your comments can be submitted through a simple web form, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/public_access/add.htm.

Frequently Asked Questions about the NIH proposal are available from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access [ pdf] and from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). http://www.arl.org/info/publicaccess/ARLFAQ.html


2 Sept
Libraries join new coalition to support public access to research

ALA and ACRL, along with AALL, ARL, MLA and SLA, have joined with a number of other organizations in a new coalition of taxpayers, patients, physicians, researchers, and institutions to support open public access to taxpayer-funded research. The Alliance for Taxpayer Access sent a letter on August 26 to Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), applauding his leadership in this area. ALA, AALL, ARL and SLA sent a similar letter to Dr. Zerhouni on August 31.

There has been a firestorm in the academic and publishing communities since July 2004, when the House Committee on Appropriations issued a report accompanying the FY 2005 Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that recommended NIH implement a policy to make research articles available to the public free of charge on PubMed Central six months after publication in a scientific journal. NIH is to submit a report to the Committee by December 1, 2004, concerning how the agency will implement this new policy.

Several publishing groups have expressed great opposition to the proposal.

On the other side, a group of 25 Nobel laureates have sent a letter to NIH supporting the proposal.


February 9, 2004:
Joint library associations' testimony to the Science and Technology Committee of the United Kingdom Parliament [ pdf file].