NIH Public Access Explained

Today the Association of Research Libraries offered a Webcast (viewable via archive) on the recently mandated NIH Public Access Policy. The presentations by Kevin Smith, JD (Scholarly Communications Officer, Duke University), Jim Siedow (Vice Provost for Research, Duke University), and Tony Waldrop (Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic Development, UNC) were quite useful and raised awareness about the need for academic authors to protect and manage their copyrights more broadly. I think this is an hour well spent, especially for anyone actively involved in facilitating and monitoring institutional compliance with this directive.

Similarly helpful (especially to PIs without an hour to spare) and much appreciated are the resource links to materials from Duke and UNC, such as Duke’s sample letter to publishers to protect author rights to comply with the Public Access policy.

Finally, the NIH is seeking public comment on the Public Access policy. As with Enhancing Peer Review, written comments are due by Monday, March 17th. You can submit a comment to be presented at the Public Meeting to be held on Thursday, March 20th from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (NIH Natcher Conf Ctr); approximately 30-40 of these comments will be presented. If you want to attend, you must register by March 17th. The Great Zerhouni himself is on the agenda. The NIH has issued a formal Request for Information as well.

Update: Summary from the NIH Public Meeting: “The NIH received comments from representatives of universities and other NIH grantee organizations, publishers from commercial organizations and professional societies, journal editors, patients, public health advocates and the general public. The NIH received 451 comments in advance of the meeting. Preliminary analysis indicates more than 60% of these pre-meeting comments expressed support of the policy as implemented; approximately 15% said the 12-month delay period was too long; and 15% had concerns that a mandatory policy would be detrimental to scientific publishers.”



  1. Thanks so much for the tips and links. To bypass all the baloney, I’ve started to submit to Open Access journals.

    Except not all the Open Access journals automatically submit manuscripts to Pub Med Central, so you’re not off the hook. The only way to fully bypass all the baloney is to bypass all NIH funding. Not so hard these days … – writedit

  2. DrugMonkey said

    How’s that KoolAide taste Abel???

  3. Kope said

    Most of the journals to which we submit already participate in submitting to PubMed, even if they aren’t open source. The list can be seen at

  4. […] Biomedical Research Ethics, Biomedical Writing/Editing, NIH Advice, Research News Update: See this post for more on the NIH Public Access Policy as well as the NIH site on the […]

  5. writedit said

    The NIH posted a Notice regarding compliance monitoring with regard to the Public Access Policy. Specifically:

    In FY2009, Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) will be notified via an email from the Program Official if citations of papers included in applications, proposals or progress reports appear to fall under the Policy but lack a demonstration of compliance as described below. The citations of concern will be explicitly listed. The Institutional Business Official will be copied on the email.

    In the meantime, as reported in Science, Rep. John Conyers (in support of publishers) introduced the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (HR 6845), which would prevent the NIH and all other federal agencies from requiring grantees to submit accepted papers to a free archive (i.e., PubMed Central). Opposition to this bill is fierce, according to the Library Journal, which noted that 33 nobel laureates wrote to Congress in protest of the act.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: