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Change is Coming: NIH Public Access Policy

April 7, 2008 will be an important day for scholarly communication. All NIH-funded research articles accepted for publication on or after April 7 must be deposited in PubMed Central, the National Library of Medicine’s free archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

This and other changes to the NIH Public Access Policy will significantly expand public access to publicly funded research. Librarians at universities and other research organizations have an important role to play in facilitating institutional compliance with the new rules.

The Association of Research Libraries has developed a Guide for Research Universities to aid understanding of how the policy changes will be implemented. This resource includes guidance for negotiating author/publisher agreements and submitting manuscripts to PubMed Central. The Institutional Responses section outlines appropriate roles for investigators, research administrators, legal counsel, and librarians. The Resources section lists examples of several universities’ approaches to communication about the policy.

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