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Weekly News Digest

July 23, 2007 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.

CLICK HERE to view all of this week's Weekly News Digest items.

House Approves Bill That Mandates NIH Public Access Policy

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a measure directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH; www.nih.gov) to provide free public online access to agency-funded research findings within 12 months of their publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The House passed the provision as part of the FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill. A similar measure has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be considered by the full Senate later this summer.

The current NIH Public Access Policy, implemented in 2005 as a voluntary measure, has reportedly resulted in the deposit of less than 5 percent of eligible research by individual investigators.

In a recent letter to Congress (https://mx2.arl.org/Lists/SPARC-OAForum/Message/3858.html), 26 Nobel Laureates called for enactment of mandatory NIH public access, noting that "[r]equiring compliance is not a punitive measure, but rather a simple step to ensure that everyone, including scientists themselves, will reap the benefits that public access can provide. We have seen this amply demonstrated in other innovative efforts within the NIH—most notably with the database that contains the outcome of the Human Genome Project."

Passage of the measure has been strongly advocated by the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (www.taxpayeraccess.org), a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organizations that support open public access to the results of federally funded research.

Source: Alliance for Taxpayer Access

[ Editor’s Note : The Professional/Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division (www.pspcentral.org) of the Association of American Publishers (www.publishers.org) has been a strong opponent of the measure. In June, the PSP and a coalition of academic and society publishers from within the DC Principles Coalition of scientific publishers (www.dcprinciples.org) wrote a letter to members expressing strong concern with language in the appropriations bill (see www.pspcentral.org/publications/LHHS_appropriations_bills.pdf).]



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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