In a big step forward for scientific communication, the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved language supporting public access to the results of research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The House FY2008 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Bill, which passed last night, directs NIH to require its funded researchers to deposit copies of eligible manuscripts into PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance by a peer-reviewed journal, to be made freely accessible to the public no later than 12 months after publication.
Although the fight is not over, it is important to note that the NIH Public Access Policy has continued to steadily gain momentum, and has now advanced farther in the legislative process than ever before. While the House Appropriations Committee has been keenly interested in NIH public access for several years, legislative support has now solidified and expanded this year to include strong, explicit backing from the Senate Appropriations Committee, as well as the full U.S. House of Representatives. These successes are due to the energetic collective action of an extremely broad coalition of taxpayer access supporters.
The U.S. Senate now will take up the matter.
Posted by P. Kaufman at July 20, 2007 1:14 PM