Making Research Results Available
We were pleased to see the Nov. 1 news story "Open Access to Research Funded by U.S. at Issue." But we would like to correct one aspect of the article that could lead to misunderstandings. The proposed legislation would not require scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health "to publish the results of their research solely in journals that promise to make the articles available free within a year after publication." It would instead require researchers to put copies of their final peer-reviewed manuscripts in PubMed Central (a digital archive maintained by the National Library of Medicine), and those manuscripts would have to be made publicly accessible within a year of publication.
Contrary to the statement made by Allan R. Alder, a vice president at the Association of American Publishers, the policy would not represent "an unwarranted government intrusion into the private-sector publishing industry." The proposed legislation would place absolutely no requirements on the publishing sector. The proposal involves only NIH and its funded researchers.
Just as the legislation would not tell NIH-funded authors in which journals to publish their work, it would not tell journals what to publish or what business models to use.
Chairman, Steering Committee
Scholarly Publishing and
Academic Resource Coalition