Partners Join in Opposition to Bill That Cuts Off Access to Taxpayer-funded Research

Thirty organizations, including several coalition partners, joined OpenTheGovernment.org in sending a letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee expressing strong 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 Committee has yet to take any action on the bill.

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.

Since the letter was sent, the Federal Research Public Access Act (HR 4004/S 2096) was introduced. It would extend the NIH Public Access Policy to 11 agencies with research portfolios of $100 million or more.

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