Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NIH Mandate, the First U.S. Public Access Policy Made Permanent

Although the NIH Public Access Mandate still faces a legislative challenge by the Conyers Bill, the first U.S. Public Access Policy was made permanent on March 12 when President Obama signed the 2009 Consolidated Appropriates Act. The full act reads:

"The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require in the current fiscal year and thereafter that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law."

An April 7, 2009 article in Nature, by Meredith Watson, provides a view of the NIH mandate after one year. An exerpt from her article is an example of how the mandate has increased deposits:

"In March 2009, 6,425 such original articles were approved by their authors for processing; a year earlier, the number was 1,852."

Her article also provides commentary about the Conyers bill, along with other opponents of the NIH mandate.