Posted by Christina Folz, OPN Managing Editor
On December 26, President Bush signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007, which contains a provision requiring scientific researchers who have received funding from the National Institutes of Health to make their work publicly available within one year of publication. As I reported in my August 25 post about the CESSE 2007 meeting, the legislation has been under consideration for most of last year, and researchers, publishers, librarians and the public have all been carefully weighing the implications of the new law.
Some scholarly publishers have expressed concern that mandated public access could compromise the quality and economics of the peer-review system. On the other hand, librarians and patient advocates are generally supportive of the bill and feel that taxpayers have a right to freely access government-funded research.
Here is the key language in the new law:
The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require 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.
The legislation has triggered a lot of blog activity among all stakeholder groups. Some have suggested that the ball is now in NIH’s court to determine an appropriate procedure for researchers to submit their articles to NLM’s database.
2008-01 January, Miscellaneous Optics