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.”