On February 9, thirty organizations, including SLA, sent a letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in opposition to the Research Works Act (H.R.3699), a bill designed to roll back a hard-fought-for policy that secured no-fee public access to NIH’s taxpayer-funded research, and also to block the development of similar policies at other federal agencies.
The NIH Policy on Enhancing Public Access is part of legislation signed into law by President Obama on March 11, 2009. It requires eligible NIH-funded researchers to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central (PMC). Full texts of the articles are made publicly available and searchable online in PMC no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access, a coalition of patient groups, physicians, researchers, educational institutions, publishers, and health promotion organizations that support barrier-free access to taxpayer-funded research, has set up a site that makes it easy to learn more about the issues, and contact your Congressman.