Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Momentum for Open Access

The following article, Momentum for Open Access, appeared today in Inside Higher Education. It concerns the proposal that is part of the appropriations bill for the Education Dept. and the NIH:

Last year, a proposal in Congress to require all federally supported research to be placed online, freely available, attracted considerable attention and debate — and ultimately stalled.

This year, a measure that is narrower — it would apply only to research supported by the National Institutes of Health — appears within reach of passage. The proposal is part of
the appropriations bill for the Education Department and the NIH, and passed the House of Representative without debate last week. The Senate Appropriations Committee has already approved the measure, which has attracted bipartisan support.

While supporters of the “open access” movement continue to want a similar provision to apply to all federally supported research, they view the prospect of a win on NIH-supported research as a significant breakthrough. “The long term vision is that public access to federally supported research is the place to be,” said Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, one of the groups pushing for open access. Passing the NIH bill would show that this is “sound and prudent public policy” and that “the sky won’t fall.” . . . . MORE

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