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The NIH Public Access Policy (February 2012)

The NIH released a February 2012 document summarizing its public access policy…

“WHAT IS AT STAKE UNDER THE PUBLIC ACCESS POLICY:  Opening up to the public 90,000 new scientific articles each year reporting research that U.S. taxpayers have funded through NIH’s annual 32 billion dollar investment in biomedical research…

HOW IT WORKS:  The NIH policy honors, and is consistent with, U.S. copyright law.  The author, as the creator of the work, holds the copyright in the original paper.  The author gives NIH a non-exclusive right to distribute the paper in PMC and may transfer to the publisher the balance of his rights, including an exclusive copyright for the final published version of the paper…

SUPPORT FROM PUBLISHERS:  Publishers representing about 1000 journals voluntarily submit the full content of their journals to PMC, regardless of whether the issue contains an article subject to the NIH Public Access Policy…

NO HARM TO PUBLISHERS IS EVIDENT:  The Public Access requirement took effect in 2008.  While the U.S. economy has suffered a downturn during the time period 2007 to 2011, scientific publishing has grown:  [1] The number of journals dedicated to publishing biological sciences/agriculture articles and medicine/health articles increased 15% and 19%, respectively.  [2] The average subscription prices of biology journals and health sciences journals increased 26% and 23%, respectively.  [3] Publishers forecast increases to the rate of growth of the medical journal market, from 4.5% in 2011 to 6.3% in 2014…”

The NIH public access policy:  http://publicaccess.nih.gov/public_access_policy_implications_2012.pdf.

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