Issue Date: October 31, 2007
Strengthening Public Access
A provision to beef up the public access policy for research supported by the National Institutes of Health is part of the 2008 Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services, Education & Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 3043 and S. 1710), which both houses of Congress have now passed. ??
The provision would require NIH to make its public-access policy mandatory. All researchers supported by NIH would have to deposit any resulting research articles in its PubMed Central database within 12 months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal in a "manner consistent with copyright law."
The American Chemical Society, which publishes C&EN, and other publishers continue to express copyright concerns over this policy, according to Glenn S. Ruskin, director of ACS's Office of Legislative & Government Affairs. "The publishing community is concerned that a mandatory policy could violate a publisher's copyright and intellectual property and adversely impact the peer-review process," he says.
Ruskin adds that ACS believes the current voluntary depositing policy is adequate. ACS "has been working with NIH to facilitate the deposit of over 3,000 articles that have appeared in ACS journals since the policy's inception in February 2005," he points out, referring to publications of work supported by NIH.
Members of Congress will now take up the appropriations bill in conference to resolve differences in the House and Senate versions before it is sent to President George W. Bush, who has threatened to veto it and several other appropriations bills.
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