Deadline Coming Up for Open Access to Research Comments

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If you think that the public should have access to the scientific research it pays for, tomorrow (January 21) is the deadline for submitting your view to the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The National Institutes of Health has a successful policy in place where recipients of funds who go on to publish their results deposit a copy of their work with PubMed. This system ensures that the public benefits from work it funds, and that academics at institutions of every size can have access to cutting edge research. Some publishers prefer the current system, where the only way to gain access to new research is by subscribing (for many thousands of dollars) to academic journals, which often demand that authors turn over the copyright in their articles to them. This is unfair to the taxpayer, who funds much basic research, as limiting access to scientific work also reduces the overall return on investment for the research dollar. As journals add value to the articles they publish (e.g. peer review) a public access policy does not threaten their livelihood, and could increase the number of manuscripts available to be published by stimulating research.

OSTP is considering expanding the NIH's successful policy to all federal agencies that distribute research funds. This Notice contains the questions they've asked. (The deadline has been extended to tomorrow.) Public Knowledge's response is here. You can email your comments to publicaccess@ostp.gov, or check here for more details and to read some of the comments that have already been submitted.

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