Friday, January 4, 2008

Public Access Mandate Made Law

Over the holidays, President Bush has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007 (H.R. 2764), which includes a provision directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide the public with open online access to findings from its funded research.

The law requires that NIH funded researchers upload e-copies of their published work to PubMed The full text of these publications will be available to all no later than 12 months following publication.

This is a big victory for open access.

“We welcome the NIH policy being made mandatory and thank Congress for backing this important step,” said Gary Ward, Treasurer of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). “Free and timely public access to scientific literature is necessary to ensure that new discoveries are made as quickly as feasible. It’s the right thing to do, given that taxpayers fund this research.”

A full press release from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access is available here.

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