Monday, August 22, 2005

Access to NIH Research

As of May 2nd of this year, all investigators of NIH-funded research have been asked to provide an electronic version of their journal articles to PubMed Central for inclusion in this database within a year of publication. PubMed is available at no charge to the public. NIH provided its initial policy in September of 2004 via the Federal Register. As you can imagine, many comments were provided on this policy. Some include:
  • Any research funded, in whole or in part, through the federal government should be made available at no charge to the citizens of the United States.
  • PubMed Central provides a stable archive for these works; publisher's archives may not be as stable.
  • Instead of a request, this should be a requirement of NIH-funded projects.
  • The lay public may not understand the research itself and may draw unwarranted conclusions.
  • Impact on journal publishers, both large and small.
The NIH has provided a good summary of these and other issues at In addition, Walt Crawford has pulled together reactions of this revised policy in his June 2005 Cites & Insights, page 17. Excellent overview for those of us that don't keep up in this area, with citations for additional reading. [from NIH]

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