Papers based on NIH-funded research would be freely available 6 months after their publication, according to a draft National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy released Friday (September 3) in an apparent compromise with journal publishers.

Under the proposed policy, journal peer-review committees would vet papers that report results from NIH-sponsored research. Once the journal has edited and published the articles, editors would upload them to a searchable Web site and NIH would make them publicly available within 6 months.

"Establishing a comprehensive, searchable electronic resource of NIH-funded research results and providing free access to all, is perhaps the most fundamental way to collect and disseminate this information," the draft policy says. "The NIH must balance this need with the ability of journals and publishers to preserve their critical role in the peer review, editing, and scientific quality control process."

Originally, a House Appropriations Committee report suggested that the NIH require...

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