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January 18, 2008

NIH Reveals Details of the Open Access Mandate

As previously reported, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has been directed by new legislation to mandate that all peer-reviewed journal articles published as a result of NIH grant funds be made freely available through PubMed Central, the digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

The NIH has now filled in many implementation details concerning the mandate and they may be found on the NIH Public Access site, FAQ, and Guide Notice for Public Access.

Details that will be of interest to the University of Illinois community:

The policy applies to all peer-reviewed articles that are accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008.

From the FAQ:
“Authors should work with the publisher before any rights are transferred to ensure that all conditions of the NIH Public Access Policy can be met. Authors should avoid signing any agreements with publishers that do not allow the author to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.”

A publisher’s compliance with the NIH policy can be checked by reviewing the SHERPA site. For example, from Sherpa one learns that both Nature and Science allow authors to comply with the NIH mandate, subject to restrictions, with just a 6 month embargo. In neither publication can the author archive the publisher's PDF (though it should be referenced); rather the author's final peer-reviewed version should be posted to PubMed Central. (The most convenient time to do this would be at the same that you send in the final version to the publisher.)

... more (see link below signature below) ...

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Prof. Katie Newman
Biotechnology Librarian, Biotechnology Information Center (BIC),
and UIUC Scholarly Communication Officer

Office: 123A Burrill Hall, MC-112
Email: florador@uiuc.edu
Phone: (217) 265-5386
Fax: (217) 333-3662

In our experience, authors are having some success with modifying the copyright transfer agreements when they strike through the objectionable portions of copyright transfer forms and write in the rights that they wish to maintain. The new NIH policy does not change the author’s copyrights’ status. The author can still “assign [copyrights] to journals, subject to the limited right that must be retained…to post the works in accordance with the Policy” in PubMed Central.

The NIH suggests some possible language that can be used to modify a publisher’s agreement: "Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal.”

Additionally, the University of Illinois provides authors with a copyright amendment form to publisher agreements that is supported by the provosts of the CIC, and was developed to support authors who wanted to retain some rights over the works that they produce. The amendment language, if accepted by the publisher, would allow authors to comply with the NIH mandate. Download the CIC amendment. To use the addendum, authors need only to fill in the form and staple it to the publisher's agreement form that they return to publishers prior to the publication of their article.

NIH will reimburse for publication costs, including author fees. (Some journals charge article processing fees for articles that will be made openly available. NIH’s policy is to cover such costs.)

Posting is required even if you publish in an open access journal, or if the article is freely accessible on the publisher’s website.

"Beginning May 25, 2008, anyone submitting an application, proposal or progress report to the NIH must include the PMC or the NIH Manuscript Submission reference number when citing applicable articles that arise from their NIH-funded research. This policy includes applications submitted to the NIH for the May 25, 2008 due date and subsequent due dates."

Be sure to read the NIH Public Access site, FAQ, and Guide Notice for Public Access.

Send questions concerning the mandate or other aspects of the NIH Public Access Policy to:
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
1 Center Drive, Room 144
Bethesda, MD 20892-0152
Email: PublicAccess@nih.gov
Website: http://publicaccess.nih.gov

For local assistance, please contact Katie Newman, University of Illinois Library Scholarly Communication Officer. florador@uiuc.edu or 217-265-5386. This message has been archived on the Issues in Scholarly Communications blog. For additional information about open access, copyright, and publishing, please visit the U of I Scholarly Communications site.

Posted by mmalliso at January 18, 2008 12:57 PM