April 17, 2018

Will NIH Public Access Policy Resurface?

By Andrew Albanese

President George W. Bush vetoed the recently passed Labor, Health and Human Services domestic spending bill, which contained a mandatory public access policy for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The policy, strongly supported by libraries for years, would require researchers to deposit their final articles in the NIH’s PubMed Central database to be made freely available within a year as a condition of grant funding. While a vote to override the veto has yet to be scheduled, success seems in question, given that the bill passed in both chambers just shy of total votes that would allow for a two-thirds majority.
The White House’s Statement of Administration Policy memo noted that any NIH policy “should balance the benefit of public access to taxpayer supported research against the possible impact that grant conditions could have on scientific research publishing, scientific peer review and on the United States’ longstanding leadership in upholding strong standards of protection for intellectual property.”

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