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ERIC Number: EJ814578
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep-26
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
High Drama Marks Hearing over Free Access to Published Research
Howard, Jennifer
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n5 pA12 Sep 2008
A life-and-death battle is going on over public access to federally financed research--life for taxpayers and many scientists, and death for publishers. Or so each side claims. That battle, whose outcome will affect many university researchers, kicked into high gear on Capitol Hill on September 11, as the combatants debated the merits of a bill that would curtail the public-access policy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The hearing, held by a House of Representatives subcommittee, did not lack for drama. It featured pleas by Nobel Prize winners, a story of how open access helped soothe an anguished mother, and warnings that intrusions by the "hairy snout" of federal regulation could destroy the economic basis of publishing. The NIH policy that triggered the skirmish went into effect in April. It requires that all researchers whose work is financed by the NIH submit electronic copies of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts to PubMed Central, a free online archive of biomedical and life-sciences journal articles, and that the material be made publicly available within 12 months of publication. Many publishers have argued that a free archive means that no one will pay for their journals anymore. They tried to derail the policy last spring and succeeded in getting Congress to specify that it be consistent with copyright law. That point is the focus of the bill, HR 6845, the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, which seeks to amend the statutes governing the NIH policy. Under the legislation, copyright holders would not be required to make the results of federally financed research freely accessible to the public. Scientific research is the most obvious target of the bill, but it could affect scholarly work in other areas as well.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A