URGENT support for NIH public access policy

From: Harold Varmus <haroldvarmus_at_plos.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 03:02:15 +0000

Dear Open Access Supporter,
On September 3, 2004 the NIH posted for comment an "Enhanced Public
Access Policy." This policy would require the recipients of NIH research

grants to provide to the National Library of Medicine a digital copy of
the final accepted manuscript (or the published version itself) of every

published report resulting from NIH-funded research, so that the
research results can be made freely available to scientists and the
public through PubMed Central within six months of publication.
We are writing now to urge you to submit a comment in support of this
proposal right away. The deadline for comments is just a few days away

- November 16th.
The text of the proposal is available at:
You can post comments here:
A powerful lobby of publishers and scientific societies is trying to
block this plan. They claim that this is an unwarranted government
intrusion on their business practices. In fact, the NIH policy has no
authority over publishers - its rules apply only to the scientists who
voluntarily accept grants from the NIH. The publishers remain free to
operate their businesses as they always have and to compete in the free
market to provide the best service and value to their authors and
readers. But the publishers are wrong in arguing that they are entitled

to monopoly control over access to the results of research that American

taxpayers have paid for. On the contrary, the taxpayers who fund the
research, and the scientists who carry it out, have every right to ask
the grant recipients to provide open access to the published results.
And they have every right to expect that the benefits of the research
will be amplified by making it freely and widely available for others to

use and to build on.
Let the NIH know that you support this policy proposal. Even better
would be to tell the NIH that you would prefer an even stronger policy
that requires full and immediate open access to all papers resulting
from NIH-funded research. It is important that the NIH and other
policymakers understand that this is not (as some publishers would have
them believe) a radical proposal destined to destroy scientific
publishing, but a thoughtful compromise that balances the desire for
better access with the commercial interests of scientific publishers.
More information about the policy is available at
http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/ <http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/>
Notable statements of support for the plan include:

An open letter to the US Congress signed by 25 Nobel Laureates:

The Council of the National Academy of Sciences:

Please let us know if you have any questions.
Harold Varmus
Patrick Brown
Michael Eisen

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Received on Thu Nov 11 2004 - 03:02:15 GMT

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