WASHINGTON, DC—National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Elias Zerhouni indicated at a gathering of 43 scientific journal publishers and editors Wednesday (July 28) that eventually all NIH-financed research will be freely available to the public.

Zerhouni stopped short of setting deadlines for depositing full-text materials in the searchable PubMed database, as recommended in a House Appropriations Committee report released earlier this month. Instead, he asked the publishing executives to inform him how best to manage material so that the public can freely use it.

"The public needs to have access to what they've paid for," Zerhouni told commercial and nonprofit publishing executives at a meeting he called on the NIH campus. Congress, he said, also demanded evidence of the agency's productivity. "I need to manage the portfolio," he said. "The status quo just can't stand."

The executive conference was the first of several planned meetings that will lead to the...

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