Re: Mandating OA around the corner?

From: Steve Hitchcock <>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 16:02:52 +0100

The NIH open access plan has just received what Peter Suber calls 'a very
important' new endorsement from the National Academy of Sciences. Peter
goes on to blog this paragraph from the NAS statement:

    "We wish to emphasize the importance of having publishers provide
    to PMC the final, published copy of each paper, rather than leaving
    the author's originally accepted manuscript in PMC....Providing the
    redacted paper will be effortless for journals that already release
    papers to PMC within six months of publication, and we hope that
    publishers who make papers free after a longer period -- or not at
    all -- will reconsider their policies. [...] "

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this how the original e-biomed
proposal evolved to become PubMed Central? There has been an impressive
array of endorsements for the NIH plan, but in some endorsements there
seems to be an implicit call to step back. I wouldn't deny the progress
made by PMC, but isn't the point of the NIH plan to take this further
forward, in particular by mandating author self-archiving rather than
relying on volunteer publisher archiving, because in using taxpayers'
money the funder can mandate funded researchers but not publishers.

Since I am not a US taxpayer I have no say in this case, but there are
wider issues, and others will take a lead from this. For one thing,
it would be very helpful if institutions in the UK of the stature of
the NAS were to (unconditionally) endorse the UK HoC recommendations,
but so far there appears to be less willingness to support this publicly
here than there is to support the NIH plan in the USA. Where are the
endorsements for the UK recommendations?

Steve Hitchcock
IAM Group, School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3256 Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 2865
Received on Fri Sep 17 2004 - 16:02:52 BST

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