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Extending mandatory open access beyond the NIH

The NIH requires free, public access to research they fund. Now the Office of Science and Technology Policy is considering extending the policy to other federal agencies that fund academic research.

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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Since late 2007, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been mandated to provide to the public, free of charge, manuscripts developed through NIH funding within one year of publication elsewhere. The requirement strikes a compromise position between supporting restrictive private journal publishers and putting manuscripts in the public domain.

Now the Obama Administration (specifically, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, or OSTP) is considering extending the policy to other federal agencies that fund academic research.

via Putting the “Public” In Publicly-Funded Research | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

I am a big supporter of open access to research. I think it provides a large public benefit at a minimal cost to anyone, even private publishers (who, I think, can and do make most of their profit on rapid dissemination of new materials to those who want them now, not six months or more later). Yes, publishers add some value through editorial management and processing, but most authors aren’t compensated, and many publishers are making large profits without adding enough value to justify the cost.