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Senate open access mandate at risk

The open access movement will take a hit if two amendments are voted into a bill currently on the Senate floor. The two amendments were filed in the Senate on Friday to either strike or modify language from a Senate appropriations bill that would require NIH-funded research to be made publicly available. The provisions are part of the Senate appropriations bill for 2008, which totals about $150 billion in funding for the departments of Health and Human Services and Education. This bill, if pas

By | October 22, 2007

The open access movement will take a hit if two amendments are voted into a bill currently on the Senate floor. The two amendments were filed in the Senate on Friday to either strike or modify language from a Senate appropriations bill that would require NIH-funded research to be made publicly available. The provisions are part of the Senate appropriations bill for 2008, which totals about $150 billion in funding for the departments of Health and Human Services and Education. This bill, if passed, includes a public access provision stating that all research supported by NIH funds must be entered into the National Library of Medicine data base within one year of being published in a peer-reviewed journal. This bill was passed by the House of Representatives on July 19. The amendments were filed at the end of the day on Friday (Oct 19) by James Inhofe, Republican senator from Oklahoma. The open access mandate in the bill isn't the first provision to be subjected to Senate alterations. Last week, linkurl:language was removed;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53710/ from the bill that would have expanded federal funding of stem cell research. One of the amendments, #3416, would eliminate the public access provision from the bill completely. The second amendment, #3417, would alter the language of the public access requirement, stating that public access to NIH-funded research be in accordance with the publisher's policies where the manuscript was published. Therefore, if certain journals do not require or allow published work to be made publicly available, this bill would not require them to do so. An announcement from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access says: "Passage of either amendment would seriously undermine access to this important public resource, and damage the community's ability to advance scientific research and discovery." The Senate bill is sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin. A staff member in Harkin's Washington D.C. office told The Scientist that the Senate will be voting on the bill tomorrow (Oct 23) or Wednesday.
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Avatar of: Graham Steel

Graham Steel

Posts: 5

October 24, 2007

Source:- http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/media/release07-1024.html \n\nFor immediate release\nOctober 24, 2007\n\nContact:\nJennifer McLennan\njennifer [at] arl [dot] org\n(202) 296-2296 ext. 121\n\nMandate for Public Access to NIH-Funded Research Poised to Become Law\n\nFull U.S. Senate Approves Bill Containing Support for Access To Taxpayer-Funded Research\n\nWashington, D.C. ? October 24, 2007 - The U.S. Senate last night approved the FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill (S.1710), including a provision that directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to strengthen its Public Access Policy by requiring rather than requesting participation by researchers. The bill will now be reconciled with the House Appropriations Bill, which contains a similar provision, in another step toward support for public access to publicly funded research becoming United States law. \n\n?Last night?s Senate action is a milestone victory for public access to taxpayer-funded research,? said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a founding member of the ATA). ?This policy sets the stage for researchers, patients, and the general public to benefit in new and important ways from our collective investment in the critical biomedical research conducted by the NIH.?\n\nUnder a mandatory policy, NIH-funded researchers will be required to deposit copies of eligible manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine?s online database, PubMed Central. Articles will be made publicly available no later than 12 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. \n\nThe current NIH Public Access Policy, first implemented in 2005, is a voluntary measure and has resulted in a deposit rate of less than 5% by individual investigators. The advance to a mandatory policy is the result of more than two years of monitoring and evaluation by the NIH, Congress, and the community. \n\n?We thank our Senators for taking action on this important issue,? said Pat Furlong, Founding President and CEO of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. ?This level of access to NIH-funded research will impact the disease process in novel ways, improving the ability of scientists to advance therapies and enabling patients and their advocates to participate more effectively. The advance is timely, much-needed, and ? we anticipate ? an indication of increasingly enhanced access in future.? \n\n?American businesses will benefit tremendously from improved access to NIH research,? said William Kovacs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. ?The Chamber encourages the free and timely dissemination of scientific knowledge produced by the NIH as it will improve both the public and industry?s ability to become better informed on developments that impact them ? and on opportunities for innovation.? The Chamber is the world?s largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and region.\n\n\n?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.? The ASCB represents 11,000 members and publishes the highly ranked peer-reviewed journal, Molecular Biology of the Cell.\n\nJoseph added, ?On behalf of the taxpayers, patients, researchers, students, libraries, universities, and businesses that pressed this bill forward with their support over the past two years, the ATA thanks Congress for throwing its weight behind the success of taxpayer access to taxpayer-funded research.?\n\nNegotiators from the House and Senate are expected to meet to reconcile their respective bills this fall. The final, consolidated bill will have to pass the House and the Senate before being delivered to the President at the end of the year.\n\n###\n\nThe Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to urge that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American public. Details on the ATA may be found at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org. \n\n

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