Mandatory open access for NIH-funded research signed into law

U.S. President Bush today signed into law the federal spending bill that includes provisions for NIH-funded research. Final, peer-reviewed manuscripts of NIH-funded research have to be publicly available at PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

The Open Access mandate for NIH-funded research was voluntary since 2005. Fewer than 5% of research papers were actually made publicly available. The process and discusson about making this requirement mandatory as part of the Fiscal Year 2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill was going on for many months (as reported previously by me and others), including a lobbying effort to stop this mandate called PRISM.

A large part of biomedical research is funded by the NIH and this change in NIH policy will probably have a big impact on how most biomedical journals do their business. A wonderful christmas present for all scientists.

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3 Responses to Mandatory open access for NIH-funded research signed into law

  1. Graham Steel says:

    “A wonderful christmas present for all scientists”
    Absolutely Martin…..

  2. Maxine Clarke says:

    Just to note that _Nature_ and the Nature journals have implemented this policy for some time now — “we are fully supportive of this process”: We encourage authors to upload their mansucripts into PubMedCentral six months (not a year) after publication.
    Happy Christmas!

  3. Martin Fenner says:

    Maxine, thank you for pointing out the Nature policy on this issue. An overview on how other journals currently handle self-archiving can be found in the “RoMEO project”: The related “JULIET project”: tracks the open access policies by research funders such as the NIH. There are still some large research organizations that don’t require public access to research papers funded with their money, including the German “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft”: