As a growing number of research institutes and professional societies move to embrace open or free public access publishing, legislation is pending in Congress that would mandate scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health to post their final peer-reviewed manuscripts online within 12 months after journal publication.But don't expect the door to unencumbered access be thrown wide open anytime soon: a number of professional research societies still oppose various aspects of open access, and the mandatory NIH directive is in danger of being scuttled because it is included in NIH's Fiscal 2008 budget bill, which President Bush has pledged to veto if it exceeds predefined spending limits.Nevertheless, the trend is growing. On June 26 the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced that starting next year it will require its scientists to deposit copies of journal articles in NIH's PubMed Central free database within six months of publication. "We...

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