The Research Work Act (H.R. 3699) introduced into Congress in December threatens to roll back the NIH Public Access Policy, the groundbreaking 2008 policy that gives the public access to biomedical research results paid for by taxpayers money. This newly introduced bill also seeks to block the development of similar policies at other federal agencies. Mike Eisen, UC Berkeley associate professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, has penned a New York Times op-ed, Research Bought, Then Sold (January 10, 2012), in which he argues, among other things, that “Rather than rolling back public access, Congress should move to enshrine a simple principle in United States law: if taxpayers paid for it, they own it.” Professor Eisen is also quoted in the Wired Science blog (January 6, 2012) on this same topic.
UC Berkeley Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer is one of the initial signators to an Open Letter to the Higher Education Community affirming UC’s support for increased public access to federally-funded research results. The letter, which endorses the Federal Research Public Access Act (S.1373 and H.R.5073), was issued on April 23, 2010. EVCP Breslauer was joined by 26 other university presidents, provosts, and research vice presidents, including John Etchemendy (Provost, Stanford University), Lawrence Pitts (Provost and Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs, University of California), and Enrique Lavernia (Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, UC Davis).
SCOAP3: Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics hosted a meeting at UC Berkeley on February 29, 2008 to explain how it hopes to make published research in high energy physics freely available to anyone on the web. The webcast of the US focal meeting is now available.
In order to support NIH-funded researchers at the University of California, William T. Tucker, the Executive Director of the UC Office of Research Administration and Technology Transfer has written a Letter to Publishers (PDF).
When submitting an article to a journal for possible publication, UC authors should attach a copy of this letter along with their manuscript. This letter ensures University of California support for author compliance with the NIH mandate.
For more informatiion see:
Effective April 7, 2008 anyone who publishes an article based upon research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be required to submit an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscript to PubMed Central. This groundbreaking policy gives the public full access to taxpayer-funded research within 12 months of its publication.
How to comply? If you have received NIH funding and have had an article published in a peer-reviewed journal, you will need to comply with this policy. The NIH states that the submission process usually takes less than 10 minutes. See the NIH Public Access Policy page for more information on how to comply.
There are a number of journals that submit articles directly to PubMed Central on behalf of their authors. When you publish in one of these journals, no further action is required on your part to comply. See the complete list of Journals That Submit Articles to PubMed Central (compiled by the NIH).
- NIH Public Access Policy FAQ
- NIH Manuscript Submission System (from the National Library of Medicine)
- Or send a question to the Library's Scholarly Communication Officer
For more background on this topic refer to Hot Topics: NIH Mandate
On behalf of the University of California, UC Provost Wyatt R. Hume sent a letter to California Senators Feinstein and Boxer (PDF) expressing support for the NIH policy on public access. Writes Provost Hume: "The provision maximizes research impact and dissemination of new knowledge…."
In the letter, Provost Hume also echoes sentiments of a recent open letter of 26 Nobel laureates urging Congress to enact this "enlightened policy to ensure that the results of research conducted by the NIH can be more readily accessed, shared and built upon to maximize the return on our collective investment in science and to further the public good."