NIH Mulls Free, Oline Posting Of ALL Research

Submitted by Blake on Fri, 09/10/2004 - 16:17

Anonymous Patron writes "This would really help academic libraries trying to find the money to pay the exhorbitant fees charged by scientific publishers...

Officials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are considering requiring recipients of NIH grants to provide a version of their final research for posting on PubMed Central, an electronic archive. The proposal closely follows recommendations of the House Appropriations Committee that government-funded research be made available to the public for free. In a statement, the NIH noted that part of its mission is to share results of research that it funds. The statement also acknowledged that efforts to share such research must be balanced with the needs of scientific publishers, who have strongly objected to the proposed open-access model. Opponents of the proposal, including Martin Frank, executive director of the American Physiological Society, said that most journals post articles electronically and offer access to nonsubscribers for relatively small fees. Frank called the requirement to post articles on PubMed Central "an unnecessary expenditure of federal funds for a Web site that is redundant." Supporters of open-access publishing said that the proposal is the right move and noted that under the proposal, publishers would have six months before their articles would be made public, during which time anyone who wanted the article would have to pay for it. Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 September 2004 (sub. req'd)"