Joint MLA/AAHSL Statement Urging Publishers to Support Author Compliance
MLA and AAHSL are issuing the following statement encouraging publishers to support authors in complying with NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH Policy Support Statement
The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries and the Medical Library Association urge journal publishers to fully support authors who are federally mandated to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy. Many authors are confused by the varied approaches and policies of different journals for submitting articles to PubMed Central. This issue will become even more pressing beginning July 1, 2013, when NIH will delay processing an award if publications arising from it are not in compliance with the Policy. Additionally, authors and their institutions need publisher support to address prior lapses in compliance, dating back to 2008, as failure to do so will adversely affect future grant funding.
On behalf of academic health centers, health sciences schools, libraries and more importantly, journal authors, we ask that:
- Publishers allow authors to submit to PubMed Central the final published versions of their articles published after April 7, 2008, related to awards that will have an anticipated start date of July 1, 2013. We ask that this permission be communicated to authors via the journal website and other relevant communication mechanisms between now and July 1, 2013.
- Going forward, publishers consider entering into an NIH Portfolio agreement with PubMed Central, wherein the journal commits to depositing all articles funded by the NIH (as defined by the NIH Public Access Policy), starting with a specified volume/issue or publication date. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/about/faq/#q15.
Authors in academic health centers are increasingly aware of the importance of selecting journals that simplify compliance. Publisher assistance with the compliance process would strengthen ties with their authors, an important market, and establish a strong pipeline for future cutting-edge research articles. Also, it would avoid the potential problem of researchers inadvertently violating publisher agreements when attempting to bring older publications into compliance. Finally, having a standard, easy solution for all authors would reduce publisher workload in consulting with individual authors to bring older articles into compliance.
Any delay in grant awards will have an adverse effect on major research institutions that thrive on competitive NIH funding. Publishers have a major role in the compliance process. We strongly encourage them to streamline the process and offer all possible assistance to authors mandated to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.
The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) supports academic health sciences libraries and directors in advancing the patient care, research, education and community service missions of academic health centers through visionary executive leadership and expertise in health information, scholarly communication, and knowledge management.
Founded in 1898, the Medical Library Association (MLA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, educational organization of 4,000 individual and institutional members in the health sciences information field that provides lifelong educational opportunities, supports a knowledgebase of health information research, and works with a global network of partners to promote the importance of quality information for improved health to the health care community and the public.