RFI Comments Results
Public Access Request for Information (RFI)
As of 12/13/2018 at 02:47:40
Total Comments = 148

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Comments Listing - Public Access Request for Information (RFI) - March 28, 2008 to May 31, 2008
Entry Date Last Name * First Name Degree Affiliation City State Country Role
04/28/2008 at 03:19:38 PM Brash Douglas PhD Yale School of Medicine New Haven CT USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  no

05/30/2008 at 05:26:26 PM Adler Allan   Association of American Publishers Washington DC USA Other
Question 1:   Introduction

The members of the Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers appreciate NIH’s vision for “an interconnected world of science” and continue to support efforts to enhance public access to scientific research with many of our own innovative online tools. However, we are troubled both by NIH’s unwillingness to acknowledge the Public Access Policy’s flawed legislative process to date and by the lack of concern for any dislocation that will result from adhering to NIH’s “implement and steer” approach for this major shift in policy. Improper implementation of this sweeping mandate has serious implications for all stakeholders in the research community (publishers, authors, the public) and for science itself, and these implications should be fully considered and addressed as soon as possible. Our key policy and implementation concerns include: Copyright. Blanket requirements in grant contracts would effectively deny authors and publishers the benefits of their copyrights—the most fundamental of which is the ability to decide how and in what form their works may be distributed—in conflict with fundamental copyright principles and without compensation for the value added by publishers and editors. In effect, the application of the NIH policy is an imposition of an extraordinary and unprecedented exception or burden to the copyright works—and thus diminishes their value for any journal business model that relies on exclusivity to drive traffic, advertising and subscriptions. The NIH policy essentially mandates a business model that can accommodate this “burdened” copyright, a model that must be based on up-front submission or publication charges, rather than the current models of the vast majority of journal publishers. This does not seem to us to be consistent with the legislative mandate to implement the NIH policy consistent with copyright. Other alternatives to the NIH policy of mandated centralized posting on PMC can and should be considered, alternatives that would still be consistent with the legislative mandate of public access within 12 months of publication. Quality Control and Compliance with Publisher Policies. Many manuscripts currently appear on PubMed Central (PMC) in violation of publisher policies. How will NIH ensure under the new public access policy that individuals post the correct manuscript version to PMC to be publicly available at the correct time, consistent with publisher agreements? For publishers submitting directly, how will NIH ensure that articles will not be accepted from individuals or entities other than the publisher? Scope. The revised mandatory public access policy now calls for submission of review articles. This is of concern to publishers especially since NIH previously encouraged us to add review articles to our journals as a way to protect our subscription base under the voluntary policy. Editors commission the review articles based on the scientific expertise of scientists; they are not based on specific research projects supported by NIH research grants. Furthermore, requiring that review articles be included will seriously undermine the many journals that publish review articles only. Repurposing. Changes made by NIH or authors that will result in variations from the original manuscript are of considerable concern for a number of reasons, not least of which is the potential introduction of errors. NIH needs to ensure that no changes, such as substantive editorial changes, are made to the manuscripts other than obvious errors in NIH production process or perhaps improved graphics for related illustrations. Links to other databases also raise concerns about changing an article’s principal context and focus. NIH needs to identify precisely how manuscripts will be linked to databases and other resources to ensure the editorial integrity of the underlying work.

Patient education. Although we understand that the principal motivation of the legislative mandate to be patient information and education, the NIH policy implementation does not address this need directly (focusing instead on building researcher infrastructure). Publishers have been working actively with voluntary health organizations (VHOs), and we believe that more should be done in this area by NIH – hopefully, working with publishers and VHOs. Piracy. Third parties could commercially exploit content that appears on PMC without the consent of the publisher. What safeguards will NIH put in place to prevent copyrighted material available on PMC from being altered, pirated, made into derivative works, redisplayed, republished, resold or used for any other commercial purpose?

These represent only a few of our many practical concerns related to implementation of the mandatory policy. Below is a more expansive “checklist” of publisher questions.

We hope it is clear that publisher concerns reflect not only critical issues related to the spirit and protection of copyright but those aspects affecting day-to-day management of the policy and how effectively it achieves its stated objectives. We believe that we can work with NIH to arrive at practical solutions to these concerns, but that will require regular, ongoing consultation and discussion. In light of the substantial nature of these questions and NIH’s commitment to the advancement of science, we believe it is important that NIH fully address these questions. We look forward to a positive and constructive interaction with NIH that will result in balanced implementation of the new public access mandate in a way that addresses our concerns, advances science and benefits the public.

05/28/2008 at 03:16:13 PM Adler Prudence MLS, MA Association of Research Libraries Washington District of Columbia USA Other
Question 1:  ARL encourages NIH to reconsider the current embargo period of 12 months. An embargo period of 6 months or less is more appropriate as a 12 month embargo is too long a delay for individuals to access needed research information. Research libraries will not cancel needed STM journal subscriptions if a 6 month embargo is implemented. Finally, given that scientific research is global, a 6 month embargo is more consistent with international public access policies.

04/01/2008 at 12:53:03 AM Ammann Arthur MD Univeristy of California San Rafael CA USA Patient or Representative of a Public Health Advocacy Organization
Question 1:  Clarification of the policy is required

I have spoken to many individuals regarding the new policy and it is still not clear if NIH support means any author in a multi-author article or whether all of the authors. Several years ago when one of the NIH funded authors objected to copyright of an article, the New England Journal of medicine removed the author from the article in order to publish and used the other authors.

As I interpret US copyright law, the intent was to protect the public from inappropriate ownership of publicly funded projects which now would include research grant results. Would the policy therefore also include articles written in publications that are not traditional medical journals such as textbooks, educational items supported by promotional companies but which include work performed by NIH funded investigators, PowerPoint presentations at scientific meetings etc. clarification of exactly what this policy covers is critical.

05/29/2008 at 04:31:54 PM Anderson Norman Ph.D. CEO, American Psychological Association Washington DC USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and the world's largest association of psychologists with 148,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students. APA is also the largest publisher of behavioral science research, with 37 of the premier scholarly journals in the field of psychology. Given that behavioral factors contribute to six of the leading causes of death in the U.S., it is clear that psychological science has a critical role to play in improving the health status of our nation.

Accordingly, APA strongly supports efforts to enhance public access to scientific publications that advance science and benefit the public, while safeguarding the copyright interests of publishers. Our overriding concern with the new mandatory NIH public access policy is that it uses public taxpayer funds to duplicate services that are currently provided by publishers. Moreover, when peer-reviewed manuscripts are made widely and freely available on line, the commercial value of the finished, published work is likely to be seriously diminished, with resulting declines in subscriptions and licensing agreements. This loss of income, which will be particularly acute for non-profit scientific society publishers like APA, is likely to lead to less science publishing, and thereby, less public access to research findings. A compelling alternative way to accomplish the goals of the NIH policy would be for publishers to provide NIH with immediate access to journal articles for internal portfolio management and archiving of publications arising from NIH-funded research and for NIH to provide public access to the final published articles through existing PubMed Central (PMC) links to journal Web sites.

In response to the NIH Request for Information, we would like to raise a number of specific concerns about the NIH procedures currently in effect to implement the new mandatory public access policy and suggest ways that they might be addressed:

a) Preserving Copyright Interests

It is essential to realize that publishers add immense value to the scientific enterprise through such functions as editorial selection, peer review, copyediting, and design production. Underlying the new public access policy is the faulty presumption that publishers will not experience significant financial hardship due to the 12-month lag between date of publication and posting of the peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC. While this may be true for a handful of publishers, it hardly applies to the industry as a whole, and certainly not to our association. This is due to the fact that the cutting-edge research that APA publishes is rarely obsolete within a year, and may have a shelf life of five to ten years. Moreover, only 15 percent of the eventual “lifetime” usage of our journal articles -- in the form of downloads -- occurs within the first year after publication. In clear violation of copyright principles, the NIH public access policy requires publishers for the first time ever to essentially forego their copyright interests without just compensation for their investments.

As a means to address this concern, the NIH policy does allow for the use of grant funds for the payment of publication fees for NIH-funded authors provided that certain stipulated conditions are met. This approach could work provided that NIH grant reviewers approve publication costs included in biomedical, behavioral, and social science research grants. Alternatively, NIH could set aside funds to enter into direct licensing arrangements with publishers to deposit copyrighted work on behalf of authors as some other non-governmental funding agencies have done, such as the Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

b) Maintaining Quality of Scientific Publishing

The public access policy by its very nature compromises the quality of scientific publishing by ultimately making available two versions of scientific papers. The first is the inferior, peer-reviewed manuscript that has not yet benefited from the final copyediting, fact-checking, and proofreading required for formal publication, and the second is the definitive, publisher-authenticated version.

To distinguish between these two versions and increase accessibility to the published version, the following changes should be made to PMC to: 1) ensure that the NIHPA author manuscript bar or some other watermark appears on the printed version of manuscripts as it does on the on-line and PDF versions; 2) make the “Author Manuscript” label larger and more obvious on abstract and html pages; 3) make the link to the published version at least as large as to the manuscript version on the abstract landing page; 4) change the title of the link to the published version, e.g., from “APA Full Text” to “APA Published Version;” 5) ensure that the links to the journal citation on the publisher sites are functional; and 6) ensure that the html and publisher sites are fully branded. c) Narrowing Scope of Policy Coverage

The relevant statutory provision in the Consolidated Appropriations Act applies to “all investigators funded by the NIH,” yet does not specify whether the NIH funding is in whole or in part. NIH takes the view that the policy applies to investigators with any NIH intramural research funds or any amount of direct costs funded by NIH, even if the funding is insignificant and supplemented by other public or private sources. But what if these other sources oppose the posting of their funded work on PMC? To address these concerns, NIH should stipulate that its requirement for the deposit of peer-reviewed manuscripts in PMC only applies when NIH funding represents the majority of funding for the scholarly work.

It is also of concern that NIH has expanded its claimed domain of manuscripts required for PMC deposit from reports of NIH grant-supported empirical research to include literature reviews. This is a significant expansion without a statutory basis. Literature reviews can arise from various contexts, which may or may not be directly related to a funded NIH grant. It is essential to clarify which review articles must be deposited. Accordingly, the language in the FAQ should be modified to explain that only those review articles that are anticipated by, and described in, an NIH-funded grant proposal are subject to the PMC deposit requirement. The guidelines should be further modified to stipulate that the policy does not apply to any grants issued before its effective date of April 7, 2008. The guidelines currently apply to NIH grants or cooperative agreements “active” in FY 2008 (which began on October 1, 2007). This sets in place an unfair, retroactive imposition of grant terms and conditions that could extend back for years prior to the official implementation date.

05/23/2008 at 02:43:02 PM Andreadis Debra   Denison University Granville OH USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  I believe that the embargo period should be shortened to 6 months given the speed with which publishing in the sciences occurs. I do not believe that this will threaten the publishers livelihood, as our researchers will still need active subscriptions to current publications to further their research.

04/01/2008 at 08:44:34 AM Antonuccio David Ph.D. University of Nevada School of Medicine Reno NV USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  I think the NIH Public Access Policy is a step in the right direction of fulfilling our obligation of beneficence to the human subjects who volunteer for scientific studies with the hope, promise, and expectation that they will be making a contribution to science and the well-being of other human beings. I would encourage NIH to consider going a step further and requiring that raw human subject data also be made publicly accessible (absent identifying information) so findings from publicly funded studies can be independently analyzed and verified by other scientists (please see rapid response entitled Universal Human Subjects Commitment at http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/336/7643/532 or Researcher's Credo at http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/336/7645/629). Actually, I believe we owe such access to all human subjects who volunteer for scientific studies, whether they be publicly funded or privately funded. NIH is in a position to set the standard.

05/31/2008 at 07:15:53 AM Arunachalam Subbiah M Sc Independent Researcher / Writer Chennai Tamil Nadu India Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  You might wish to hold both the institution and the individual receiving NIH funds responsible for depositing the full text of the papers resulting from NIH funding immediately on acceptance.

05/27/2008 at 04:00:09 PM Baker Nancy MLS, MA University of Iowa Iowa City Iowa USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  I am pleased to have this opportunity to indicate, once again, our strong support for the current NIH Public Access Policy. We believe that this policy promotes new discovery, fosters innovation, increases accountability for public funding, and makes medical research available to patients and other members of the public. These are all core to the mission of a pubic research university. At the University of Iowa, our librarians have offered small seminars on how to comply with this new policy for specific campus departments, as well as open sessions to anyone who might be interested. An informational website has been created, linking to the information at NIH. Librarians have been available to assist and consult with individual campus researchers about the submission of manuscripts to PubMed Central. The concerns offered by many who have opposed this policy remain unfounded. The University of Iowa has not cancelled any journals as a result of this policy nor do we anticipate any such cancellations in the future. Publishers of scientific journals have regularly indicated to the library community that the market for their new publications is 6 months, sometimes less. So we know that a 12 month embargo is protecting them from financial harm. Moreover a 6 month embargo would also be more consistent with terms of other countries, specifically the European Union, UK and Canada. The University of Iowa has also endorsed an author addemdum that enables faculty to retain rights to their work while giving the publisher license to publish. If NIH had information available on which publishers support such addenda, that would likely be helpful to our authors.

05/28/2008 at 12:58:30 PM Baker Shirley K. MA, MA Washington University St. Louis Missouri USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Shorten the embargo period to six months. Otherwise, the Policy is well crafted and should be implemented.

05/30/2008 at 03:15:25 PM Becker Mila JD American Society of Hematology Washington DC USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  In 2006, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) developed an agreement with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) creating a new option for its journal, Blood, to comply with the NIH policy on enhanced access. All Blood authors who published NIH-funded articles from May 2005 forward have no obligation to submit manuscripts to the NIH archive because Blood does this on their behalf. The PMC (NIH Portfolio) Archive Program was the result of efforts by ASH and a group of nonprofit publishers to improve compliance with the voluntary NIH public access policy while maintaining the publisher-mandated access embargoes.

The PMC (NIH Portfolio) Archive Program has the following terms: The participating project provides NIH with final articles representing NIH-funded research. NIH has internal use of the articles during participating journals’ embargo period, which can be no longer than 12 months. During the embargo period, NIH can link to the journal web sites to provide access to NIH-funded research articles; following the embargo period, NIH can provide links to the journal, but can also distribute articles directly from its PMC web site (NIH’s view of an article includes a page banner that identifies the corresponding journal and provides a link to the journal’s own web site). ASH volunteered to have Blood be the first participant in the program and agreed to provide articles going back to the original May 2005 implementation date of the original NIH Public Access Policy.

ASH has implemented the PMC (NIH Portfolio) Archive Program for almost two years, and the Society strongly believes that this option meets the NIH Public Access Policy goals while providing a better alternative for journals and authors than the newly mandated policy. Consequently, ASH’s comments below focus on the importance of maintaining this option and promoting participation in it to other nonprofit publishers. ASH strongly believes that the PMC (NIH Portfolio) Archive Program provides a better alternative for journals and authors than the newly mandated policy. Through this option, NIH obtains one hundred percent compliance in the policy by participating journals because the journals submit to NIH the final version of NIH funded research articles upon publication on behalf of their authors. NIH also has the ability to create a stable archive of peer-reviewed research publications resulting from NIH-funded research and a secure searchable compendium of these peer-reviewed research publications that NIH can use to manage research portfolios and set research priorities. In addition, this program protects the integrity of journal articles by allowing the journal to submit the final article, maintains journal business models by protecting the embargo period and the peer-review system, and, importantly, continues to allow enhanced access of science to researchers and the public. ASH believes NIH should take steps to increase its outreach to other nonprofit publishers to promote participation in this program.


File Link:  RFI_Comments_5-30-08.txt
Description:  ASH Response to NIH Public Access RFI 5-30-08

05/02/2008 at 05:53:11 PM Boothby Mark M.D., Ph.D. Vanderbilt University Nashville TN USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  Yes. Many many many.

As implemented, it's horrific, arguably a violation of the law (poorly written in any case, and - even where NOT a direct violation of the law - ham-handed, counterproductive, and set to waste massive amounts of very scarce NIH $$$ to achieve the portion of the underlying objective that is laudable.

Rec #1 -- Work more constructively than you have with the many scientific societies whose journals provide open access to the information after a reasonable period (6-12 mo) post-publication. For instance, accept their offer of invisible autolinking from High-Wire (or their own WWW sites, autolinked already from NLM PubMed) to PMC (sneakily named PubMedCentral - distinct from PubMed). In addition, just program an autodownload conversion from PubMed entries (and their active journal links) to PMC, which don't become activated until investigator performs one simple click within 12 mo of publication date (or earlier, specifying a length of Embargo period).

Apart from those that already are on the NIH list of journals taking care of PMC transmission of papers on behalf of investigators, there remain two classes of journal: a. those that already make the information openly available to all with WWW access within 6 or 12 mo of publication, and therefore achieve your present objective, versus

b. those that do not, and may be almost impossible to drag into doing so because of their unique branding and (over)weighting in the cultural consciousness of medicine or science [i.e., NEJM, Nature and baby natures, Cell and baby cell press journals].

If you work constructively, instead of the current obstinate obstructionism, to bring journals of group a into the fold, the mass of high-value content will increase the pressure on the hold-outs.

2. Provide a clear path whereby scientists can use a PMID and embedded link {rather than a PMCID; heuristic point = PubMed and PubMedCentral are different units} in those instances where the open access need is already met as a matter of course. [Didn't Congress' appropriation include a specific point to the effect that "open access, as long as it does not violate copyright law"? So, NIH wants to implement things about like Mafiosi or the like (with the metaphorical gun to the head): don't publish in journals with concerns about PMC, too bad if your paper was under review at a journal with "non-compliant" copyright policy and got accepted April 10, and it's all your problem - we'll just make you certify that you were compliant.

Similarly, grant applications, progress reports, and other forms of reporting should allow ANY open access link that Congress, staff, NIH officials, other govt officials, reviewers, and the public can all use. [Is it not true that under current Federal Law, the simplest and lowest cost means of achieving compliance with the requirement incorporated into the appropriation is MANDATED?]

3. Better clarity, simpler path to compliance, and acceptance with no further action on the part of the investigator.

I previewed the site, having just had a paper accepted into a journal that apparently will take care of the upload within 6 months of publication, but I see no reason to spend an extra $700 of scarce and precious taxpayer money to select their "Open Access Option", and in the meantime (nest 8-9 mo), what's the PMCID? Am I supposed to sit around deemed 'non-compliant' even though I am or will be compliant?

04/04/2008 at 01:08:51 PM Boyden Edward Ph.D. MIT Cambridge MA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  The current policy is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, for investigators to achieve. Individuals have far less bargaining power with journals than the NIH would. To place the burden of securing copyright, etc. on the individual is a big burden. If the NIH could work directly with journals, compliance would be possible.

05/30/2008 at 04:46:29 PM Boyle Jeanne MLS Rutgers University Libraries New Brunswick NJ USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Our NIH-funded researchers are concerned about proper citation of their work. They would prefer to submit the final published version of articles to assure that PubMed Central (PMC) has the most canonical and easily cited form. It would be reassuring to our authors if the NIH policy stated clearly that they had the option of submitting the final published version of their article, if the publisher were in agreement. It is desirable to include the full citation to the published form, but if readers do not have access to the published form they will be under the impression that PMC has only a preliminary or less authoritative version of the article.

It has been suggested that this policy would harm journal publishers and lead to the cancelation of STM journals. This is a misunderstanding of the decision process in libraries for journal selection. Scholarly journals are typically subscribed within packages, and it is not possible to establish a correlation between individual NIH-funded articles in open access repositories such as PMC and journal cost. Furthermore, libraries are unable to predict which journals will publish NIH-funded articles, so this factor would be a specious one on which to base journal acquisition. Finally, even if the embargo period were reduced to six months, this period would be too long to make the unavailability of the journal a palatable option. We have never used public access availability as a criterion for journal cancelation.

05/23/2008 at 03:36:05 PM Brash Douglas PhD Yale School of Medicine New Haven Connecticut USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  no

04/04/2008 at 10:25:41 AM Buchwald Stephen Ph.D. MIT Department of Chemistry Cambridge MA United States NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  Require the publishers to submit the manuscript, as many have voluntarily agreed to do, to PubMed. Placing the burden on the P.I.'s will further take away from valuable research time.

04/27/2008 at 11:58:10 PM Burack Jeffrey J.D. n/a New York NY USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  1) Reduce the embargo time to the shortest possible period. 12 months is too long. If necessary, implement an modest access fee, shared with publishers, which decreases with the age of the article, becoming zero at, say, six months after publication.

2) Find some way to establish greater access to NIH-funded articles that pre-date the April 8, 2008 policy.

03/31/2008 at 10:30:28 AM Burns Robert B.A. Individual Arlington VA USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  As an alternative means of implementing the NIH policy, I’d like to suggest allowing publishers to voluntarily enter into a binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NIH. Such a voluntary agreement would detail how a publisher would help their NIH-funded authors comply with the new policy (e.g., copyright transfer agreements, submission procedures, etc.). It should enable publishers to submit journal articles on behalf of their authors, control the quality of the articles submitted, and do so in a manner consistent with copyright law. In exchange, however, the publisher would have to assume the NIH-funded investigator’s liability for complying with the agency's public access policy.

05/29/2008 at 12:53:47 PM Butter Karen ML University of California, San Francisco San Francisco CA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:   The current policy relies upon a 12 month embargo to preserve the financial interests of publishers. Moving to a 6 month embargo would better serve the interests of taxpayers without harming publishers. As one example: immediate availability of physics pre-prints has not harmed the market for physics journals. More generally, the demand of researchers for access to the latest research effectively guarantees that libraries will not carry out widespread cancellations. Another benefit of a 6 month embargo is that it aligns NIH policy with those of other respected funding organizations such as the Wellcome Trust, the European Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Simplified procedures are essential to identify compliance policies by journal title. For the future we look forward to publisher’s submission on behalf of their authors and urge NIH to collaborate with publishers in this regard. In the interim we strongly encourage NIH to partner publishers to produce a searchable index by journal title. The limited list by publisher is of little value to authors who do not know publishers nor does it include the majority of journal titles.

05/29/2008 at 12:19:39 PM Cameron-Vedros Crystal MLS Univesity of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City KS USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  We are aware of a proposal for an alternative implementation of the Public Access Policy, where NIH would act as a dark archive and provide links to publishers' Web sites. This proposal would NOT achieve a major goal of the NIH, which is to provide a permanent, stable archive of its research. For a database to be effectively curated and for the quality of material it contains preserved, it must be used regularly.

Libraries have a long history in dealing with archiving and preservation issues, and can say emphatically that a dark archive that links to publishers’ Web sites is an unacceptable alternative that NIH has consistently and wisely rejected.

05/22/2008 at 01:31:10 PM Canizares Claude Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge MA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  MIT is pleased to comment again in support of the 2008 NIH Public Access Policy. MIT’s mission to “generate, disseminate, and preserve knowledge” is reflected in and supported by this policy, which will advance science and make publicly funded research more widely accessible, leading to benefits for taxpayers and for society. Since our comments in March, a group of staff from our Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of General Counsel, the Libraries, and the Vice President for Research, in conjunction with faculty, have been working on several aspects of implementation. We have:

• Announced and explained the policy to our NIH Principle Investigators and research administrators campus-wide; • Prepared two web pages for authors: an overview, and a step-by-step guide for compliance; • Created a submission letter and revised MIT amendment to publisher agreements for authors’ use; • Presented to research administrators about the policy and compliance with it; • Modified our internal grant application process to flag the new policy; • Worked with the NIH on search strategies to properly identify MIT-authored works via PubMed and PubMed Central; • Consulted with colleagues and NIH on possible third-party submission support that might be offered to MIT authors; • Investigated key publisher policies for NIH-funded research and documented them for MIT authors; • Communicated about the policy with many publishers, and received responses from some of them. We have been working with individual authors on preparing appropriate publisher agreement amendments so that they can comply with the new policy without coming into conflict with any publisher copyright policy. This activity forms part of our overall author support program that assists MIT authors in considering how to manage the rights to their work.

04/28/2008 at 03:19:30 PM caplan steve PhD University of Nebraska Medical Center omaha ne USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  While I think that the overall idea of freely disseminating inormation from the scientific journals has merit, if the currentsytem is employed, I firmly believe that this idea will turn into a nightmare for the scientific community at large. My comments are based on my experience with PubMed Central, in being asked to submit one of my papers to this forum. While the submission process itself was not particularly difficult, the problem lay in the reformatting of my manuscript that was done to meet the criteria ofPubMed Central. I do not know how my manuscript was typeset, but it was sent to me to "proof' with a tremendous number of errors. I spent an enormous amount of time correcting and proofreading figure legends that were altered- probably 3 entire days worth of work to do so. I did not hear from PubMed Central for another 2-3 months, and then was sent the 'revised' proofs. In beginning to go through these, I could see that 80% of my time consuming corrections were either incorrectly implemented, or not at all. It took another 2 days of work to resubmit this and wait another 2 months for an additional round of corrections. In short, if this system is now mandatory and will be in effect for every paper, I may end up as a researcher spending more time revising and correcting ALREADY PUBLISHED PAPERS than doing anything else.

My suggestion to overcome this would be the publishing of a PDF formatted manuscript supplied by the author(s). If PubMed Central would like to make these 'uniform', perhaps simply making a uniform title page would suffice. The submission of a PDF document by the author would ensure that no typesetting errors/changes will detract from the manuscript, and obliviate the need for the 'proofing' and revisions stages.

05/28/2008 at 01:44:27 PM Case Kathleen MS American Association for Cancer Research Philadelphia PA USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  Many publishers, especially not-for-profit publishers, make ALL of the final content of their journals available free at 12 months. These publishers have offered many times to have PubMed and/or PubMedCentral link to these final articles on the publishers' websites and to implement links from those websites to other NLM databases. Implementing this linking would save thousands of researchers from having to load articles on PubMedCentral because the publishers already load the articles on their websites. These publishers' websites are stable, archived, and are permanently available worldwide. Further, linking would ensure that there was only one version, the final and best version, of an article available to the public. Minimally, the mandatory deposit requirement should be waived for authors who publish in journals that make their articles available free online at 12 months or less. The NIH policy reflects a basic misunderstanding of the Internet--an article that is available online free on a website IS available to everyone. The mandatory deposit on PubMedCentral policy should apply only to articles reporting NIH-funded research that are not made freely availble by publishers. Double deposit of different versions of articles is wasteful, redundant, and potentially dangerous to the public.

05/30/2008 at 12:03:02 PM Case Mary MALS University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago IL USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  UIC supports the revised NIH Public Access Policy. We believe, however, that NIH would more effectively leverage the investment in government dollars in health sciences research by mandating an embargo of 6 months or less rather than the 12-month embargo of the current public access policy. UIC recognizes that publishers have some concern that libraries will cancel journals as a result of the NIH mandate. However, UIC will not cancel journal subscriptions due to the NIH Public Access policy, even if there were a 6 month embargo—6 or more months is too long of a delay for access to needed research while a significant number of journal articles will not be covered by the NIH Policy.

UIC is also are aware of a proposal for an alternative implementation of the Public Access Policy, where NIH would act as a dark archive and provide links to publishers' Web sites. This proposal would NOT achieve a major goal of the NIH, which is to provide a permanent, stable archive of its research. For a database to be effectively curated and for the quality of material it contains preserved, it must be used regularly. Libraries have a long history in dealing with archiving and preservation issues, and can say emphatically that a dark archive that links to publishers’ Web sites is an unacceptable alternative that NIH has consistently and wisely rejected.

05/31/2008 at 01:26:19 PM Colson Karen   Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Rockville MD USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  May 30, 2008

NIH Public Access Staff National Institutes of Health Transmitted via http://publicaccess.nih.gove/comments2/comments.htm

Re: Request for Information: NIH Public Access Policy: NOT-OD-08-060 (March 28, 2008) ARVO, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, is grateful for the opportunity to respond to the above mentioned NIH Public Access Policy. As stated in previous correspondence, ARVO has over 12,000 members worldwide and publishes two of the top five peer-reviewed journals in ophthalmology, as demonstrated by the Institute of Scientific Information’s Impact and Immediacy Factors. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS) receives over 1,600 submissions and publishes over 750 peer-reviewed articles annually; all articles are freely available online to everyone within twelve months after publication. The Journal of Vision includes 300 articles online only, all of which are freely accessible as they are published. Our concerns continue to be as follows.

Intramural Researchers: Policy Interpretation • ARVO recognizes that US-government funded research is in the public domain but does not recognize NIH’s redistribution or claim of ownership of public domain content. • ARVO does not support NIH’s stated practice of depositing US taxpayer-funded articles and/or selected content in non-US sponsored or controlled databases. • ARVO supports the practice of deep archives of scientific articles and is willing to work with NIH to establish a perpetual, deep archive. • The Policy is confusing for authors and PIs; it states that the PI is responsible for submission of accepted articles whether or not they are authors of the articles. In addition, publishers do not have information regarding who is the PI for every grant. • NIH’s unfunded mandate for required deposit of accepted manuscripts policy for intra- and extramural scientists whose research is supported in whole or in part by NIH fails to recognize the value-added features included in the publishing process. ARVO supports and encourages NIH to link to final, published articles and associated supplementary data on trusted publishers’ sites such as HighWire Press. • ARVO explicitly states in its Copyright Form for government employees that NIH-funded authors may submit final, accepted electronic files to PubMed Central. Additional forms are redundant and potentially confusing to authors, institutions, and publishers.

Overall Policy Concerns • NIH’s unfunded mandate for required deposit of accepted manuscripts policy for intra- and extramural scientists whose research is supported in whole or in part by NIH fails to recognize the value-added features included in the publishing process. ARVO supports and encourages NIH to link to final, published articles and associated supplementary data on trusted publishers’ sites such as HighWire Press. • Many associations, including ARVO, have free online access to all back issue content published since the inception of the journal (volume 1, issue 1).

Suite 250 • 12300 Twinbrook Parkway • Rockville, MD 20852–1606 • TEL (240) 221-2900 • FAX (240) 221-0370 • www.arvo.org • This policy severely inhibits publishers’ oversight and control of the use and potential misuse of its intellectual property. • The fundamental financial models of subscriptions and advertising supporting the peer-review process as well as the ongoing educational opportunities and member support provided by Associations’ publications are threatened. The Policy is forcing model changes but does not support publisher charges if an article is accepted and published after the grant has expired, regardless of funding included in the grant. • The Policy and NIH submission process impose the additional burden of proofing and verification activities on Principal Investigators (PIs), affecting research in the short- and long-term. • There are no procedures at the NLM and PubMed Central (PMC) for ensuring that only those articles funded by NIH are made publically available. Currently publishers must monitor PMC and request removal of articles that do not meet NIH’s stated criteria.

ARVO looks forward to working with NIH’s Public Access and NLM staff to resolve these significant issues.

Sincerely yours,

Sally Atherton, PhD Executive Vice President

Nicholas Delamere, PhD Chair, Publications Committee

Joanne Angle Executive Director

05/30/2008 at 12:24:58 PM Connolly Anne   Research Foundation of SUNY (RF) Albany NY USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  The Research Foundation of State University of New York (RF) offers these thoughts as recommendations for the NIH to consider for implementation, from actions put in practice by some of the State University of New York (SUNY) campuses. 1. SUNY campuses have enhanced and supplemented the implementation recommendations of the NIH. For example, letters have been and/or will be sent to individual NIH faculty, including Chairs and Deans to make them informed and aware in the attempt to ensure compliance. These letters will be posted on individual SUNY campus websites and will also appear in campus newsletters. 2. SUNY campuses are also discussing ways to target employees (e.g., post-doctoral) on NIH grants who may also be publishing. 3. SUNY campuses have and/or soon will include statements on internal notice-of-award forms (i.e., information abstracts) that are sent to investigators identifying the need for compliance. 4. SUNY campuses have also engaged their library services to post similar information on their specific webpages. 5. SUNY campuses may maintain their own database of publications in their campus libraries, and include the library staff in the compliance process. 6. SUNY campuses have also discussed having the research administrators remind investigators to include additional publication costs (in addition to page charges and illustrations) if they are considering publishing their manuscripts in journals they know charge for submission to PubMed Central.

04/01/2008 at 03:42:50 PM Cook Andrew PhD Physics Eugene OR USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  Research financed by the public should be publicly available on the Internet. Referees aren't paid and they do the lion's share of the work in publishing a paper. If old prestigious journals refuse to make publicly-funded research available, new journals will become more prestigious.

05/29/2008 at 12:51:22 PM Courtois Martin Master of Arts Library Science Kansas State University Manhattan KS USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Public access needs to separated from publishers' business models. The present implementation is sound, but all embargo periods should be eliminated. Publishers fear that immediate access will threaten subscriptions, but they should remember that libraries have been canceling subscriptions for decades, and publishers are still in business. Those people who need (and who can afford) subscriptions will not cancel them simply because an article is freely available online.

05/30/2008 at 10:23:00 AM Crawford Brian Ph.D. American Chemical Society Washington DC USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  The attached ACS comments broadly cover all four questions posed by NIH but by extension also cover many issues attendant to a larger more expanded response to each of the questions.


File Link:  ACS_RFI_Submission_053008.txt
Description:  ACS Response to NIH RFI on Implementation of the mandatory public access policy

05/31/2008 at 04:49:09 PM Crews Kenneth J.D., Ph.D. Columbia University New York New York USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  No reponse to this question at this time.

04/28/2008 at 11:52:47 PM Cutter Gary PhD University of Alabama Birmingham AL USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  IF NIH wants to mandate this policy, why unload another round of burdens on investigators? This leaves each investigator to negotiate with each journal and a paper by paper basis. This one sided coin, you can only fail is not cost effective. Currently we sign conflict of interest forms, copywrite transfers and the giving of intellectual property to a journal for sale along with all types of additional burdens on investigators without reciprocity. If the journal doesn't make the citation available or an investigator isn't saavy enough to understand copywrite violations and sign the wrong agreement, you are just setting someone up for failure, violations and problems. If this is so important and a legal requirement, and in spirit it is a good idea, why not simply state that NIH will not allow any investigator using public funds for their research to publish in any journal that does not adhere to this policy. One statement and the journal will comply saving thousands of dollars in compliance monitoring. The journals will comply or not have material to publish and compliance will no longer be an issue. Why seek to make criminals of already burdent scientists with threats of legal violations when you could make the norm happen?

These are incredible wastes of the greatest resources this country has, our human capital, as is increasingly common with the enormous amount of NIH mandates. The collective hours of cost is not really worth the repetition of the same effort. You have the power to make this happen and dumping the task on individuals is just setting up people for failure. Where is the thinking about translational science?

04/01/2008 at 12:46:10 PM Dante Doug Bachelors Personal Detroit MI USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  I would like all NIH funded research to be freely available under the broadest possible copyright, so that anyone may comment, quote, or redistribute that research in any context whatsoever.

04/16/2008 at 02:27:52 AM Dean David Ph.D. retired, writing RO1 proposal to be submitted via Oregon Health Sciences University Portland Oregon USA Other
Question 1:  I have a number of recommendations. If they are not presented in a useful format, please let me know and I will modify them. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1) I strongly support the NIH policy requiring that all peer-reviewed manuscripts arising from NIH funds be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. 2) I am encouraged by the recently passed law requiring that, beginning May 2, 2008,full-text versions of journal articles describing NIH-funded research be provided free via the internet to the public. For two reasons, however, I believe there should be NO DELAY in providing articles online after they have been reviewed and approved in final form. I can imagine only two reasons for delaying access: (1) compensation of publishers for revenue lost from reduced sale of print versions of journals, and (2) preservation of the privileges that prestigious journals and the prestigious contributing authors and institutions now enjoy because of the high quality of their personnel and research, and their ability to pay the high costs required to maintain extensive, up-to-date collections of print journals. In my opinion, it makes no sense to provide everyone in the world with free, searchable access to abstracts of the world’s literature, but, for those unable to pay, delay access to full-text versions of individual articles, and permanently deny the opportunity to browse whole journal issues. The benefits to the whole world of providing free total access are obvious: (1) The costs of providing it to millions of people may be little more than those of providing it to the elite because the digitized copy of every article is already available and instantly transmissible to any number of recipients, from one location (PubMed Central). (2) The process would be further simplified by standardized online entry of individual requests (as is already done), and automated online transmission of recurring requests for specific journals sent monthly to lists of libraries and laboratories (as presumable is already done, and updated regularly). (3) The internet already provides tutorials and academic lessons on many scientific topics. These could be better accessed if managed by or linked to PudMed Central. (4) The reason for not delaying free access is to provide individuals and institutions unable to purchase it (e.g., students and almost everyone in the third world) the same access as the more privileged. The technology required for rapid and affordable dissemination of knowledge throughout the world is now available and in place. It should be embraced without delay, hopefully with the full cooperation of publishers. 3) It seems to me that the process required for the production of pure on-line journals is identical to that required for the online versions of print journals. PubMed Central is able to provide up-to-date online access to full text versions of all biomedical journal articles. It may be time to seriously consider a total transition to print-free journals. I have read arguments for preserving the traditional publishing infrastructure, i.e., the paper printing equipment and professional printers involved in scientific/biomedical publishing. I honestly don’t think that any arguments against electronic publishing and universal free access can hold up against an internet-based system for submitting, reviewing and publishing manuscripts; for providing a forum for public and private comments, questions, debate, and establishment of contacts; and for permanently archiving these publications linked to such feedback. One of the early criticisms of electronic publishing was that the quality of printed photographs, figures and text would be superior. We all know now that that is no longer the case, due to technological advances in digital scanning, electronic display and personal printers. 4) Practical reasons for converting entirely to online production and distribution of biomedical journal articles: (1) Expense: (a) The print journal industry already produces electronic versions, starting with the interactions between publishers, authors, reviewers and editors, and thereafter with NIH, PubMed Central, research institutions and libraries throughout world, and anyone in the world with internet access and the ability to pay. (b) Print versions are very expensive to produce and distribute. It appears that they may soon become a luxury of well-heeled customers, assuming that even that market will remain viable. The print industry has undergone many technological changes. The technologies now available, however, may prove to be the most revolutionary and the most favorable for everyone, including publishers. It is possible that the number and quality of scientists involved in electronic-only publishing would be the same as those now involved in the combined paper-electronic publishing. Possibly the same people would continue to do the work. Academic editors, who are often senior professors, work very hard and are proud to do this important job. I and many of my peers have similarly considered it an honor to serve voluntarily as reviewers throughout much of our careers. All of these factors taken together indicate that the current production of print articles could be duplicated by purely electronic publishing, but without the tremendous time and costs required for the conversion of electronic manuscripts to paper and the mailing of journals. (c) For those who feel the need to have a physical copy in their hands, high quality personal printers are becoming universally available. In the not too distant future, electronic-paper hybrids may end up becoming the standard tools for downloading and viewing scientific and other literature. At this moment, such alternatives to traditional books are proliferating, competing with each other, and winning converts. (d) Communication satellites may represent a practical and affordable means of providing information to the most isolated areas of the world. These areas have the greatest need for medical information, and for other information consistent with local regulations and customs. Summary: I think that the importance and economics of providing universal access to biomedical literature and professional contacts far outweigh those of any other alternatives, and that there should be no delay or compromise in providing this access. The costs of providing internet access throughout the world would be dwarfed by the costs of maintaining the print journal industry. The following examples emphasize the urgency of this need. (1) Many talented people from poor countries obtain advanced degrees from western medical schools, but upon return to their home communities are unable to solve many medical problems they face. Many of the most talented of these people remain in or return to advanced countries. For such people, state of the art facilities for keeping up to date and discovering important contacts would provide an essential lifeline and incentive to stay in their home countries. (2) During a six year period I spent doing research and providing training in Egypt, a country with eleven medical schools, three of which are in Cairo, there was very little access to current medical literature. (3) The situation is much worse in parts of the world that are now facing catastrophic epidemics and other medical problems. It is only through the efforts of Doctors Without Borders and other volunteer organizations that some communities are surviving at all. Enabling local doctors to obtain up-to-date information, and to share data and publish jointly with contacts elsewhere, would save many lives and revolutionize third-world medical education.

05/28/2008 at 02:29:45 PM DeCrappeo Anthony   Council on Governmental Relations Washington DC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Much of the burden of meeting this statutory requirement would be eased if more journals would collaborate with the research community in meeting the statutory obligation. The most effective way to meet this obligation would be if publishers modify standard copyright agreements to include a provision that acknowledges that the author retains the right to provide a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript to the NIH and to make the article available in PubMed Central (PMC) no later than 12 months after publication by the journal.

As an alternative, journals could agree to deposit the final published article in PubMed Central. In this case, a significant portion of the burden on the grantee institution and its investigators is relieved and the public has timely access to the results of federally supported research. We recognize that the business models for many of the professional society-based journals do not anticipate this approach. Nonetheless, the society members are the very investigators that will be unable to meet their grant obligations and, as a consequence, jeopardize future federal funding.

Conversely, NIH can assist the research community by reconsidering its strategy for meeting its obligations under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008. The language in the statute does not preclude NIH from providing links to journal websites as a way to make research results publicly available. There is no apparent expectation for a permanent archive of publications, per se, or a prescribed format for the publicly available electronic versions. A link to journal websites can meet NIH’s obligations under Consolidated Appropriations Act.

05/29/2008 at 10:34:08 PM Dobbs Aaron MSLS, MSM Shippensburg Univeristy of Pennsylvania Shippensburg PA USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  There is a pattern emerging among responses to the NIH call for comments that indicates opponents are pressing for PubMed Central to be made into a dark archive that links to publishers’ Web sites. This does NOT meet the goals of public access and is NOT an acceptable approach to the policy.

05/30/2008 at 09:57:40 PM Douglas Kimberly M.A., MSLS California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Pasadena CA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Caltech appreciates the opportunity to comment and to also register its support for NIH's policy to ensure broad-based public benefit from research for discovery innovations, learning enrichment, and clinical care.

The Offices of the Vice Provost for Research, Sponsored Research, Library, and General Counsel at Caltech undertook the following for successful implementation of the NIH Public Access Policy: 1) Crafted text for authors to include in their manuscript submission letters to address copyright in a manner consistent with the law. 2) Individually notified every NIH grantee of the steps to undertake. 3) Met with research groups to address compliance needs. 4) Created and added a number of web pages announcing, explaining, and providing compliance steps to the Caltech community. 5) Consulted and advised one-on-one in labs and offices, as well as electronically, regarding the policy and related PubMed Central manuscript submission process

The NIH should continue to urge publishers to automatically deposit papers in the PMC and find appropriate ways to recognize those who do. In addition, with incentives from funding agencies such as the NIH and given today's available technologies, universities and publishers need to establish effective new mechanisms for handling peer-review certification and optimizing world-wide research paper distribution. New more collaborative approaches borne of the network are needed.

04/01/2008 at 11:09:13 PM DuBose Terry MS, RDMS Univ. Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock Arkansas USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  NIH and tax payer funded research publications should be available to the public at no charge. This is the best way to promote advances in the sciences.

05/27/2008 at 11:58:14 AM Durniak Anthony BEE and MS IEEE Piscataway NJ USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  Yes, the IEEE believes that the NIH should seriously consider enlisting experienced scholarly publishers to help implement the Public Access Policy in a way that will provide maximum benefit to the public. For instance, the NIH could offer the metadata and references of published articles from NIH-funded research and simply link from Pub Med Central to the publisher’s final version of the manuscript. The publisher could easily make the paper freely available from its own web site.

An alternative for NIH could be to adopt a SCOAP3 model (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) for supporting NIH-funded research. Like SCOAP3, NIH would reimburse publishers for the cost of making NIH-funded research publicly available, in lieu of an author payment. IEEE recently expressed an interest in working with CERN and SCOAP3 to experiment in this area.

Another alternative would be to have the NIH contract with one or more publisher to host all published NIH-funded research on existing digital archives such as the IEEE’s Xplore platform. Such an arrangement would give readers access to existing specialized search tools (like Scitopia) as well as to cross linking with other STM literature.

We urge the NIH to consider these alternatives to ensure that it will not unnecessarily waste taxpayer funds building an article repository and web delivery system that duplicates what already exists in the operations of scholarly publishers.

05/30/2008 at 02:03:36 PM Dylla H. Frederick PhD American Institute of Physics College Park MD USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  The American Institute of Physics (AIP), an umbrella organization for 10 physics-related societies representing 130,000 scientists and engineers and a nonprofit publisher of physics journals, remains concerned about government-mandated public access. We believe that making the results of tax-payer funded research widely available is an important objective that may accelerate scientific discovery and increase the probability that important discoveries will be used in a more timely fashion. Although the intent of public-access policy is laudable, the issues underlying the implementation of this policy are economic and legal, and may result in unintended consequences detrimental to scientific societies.

The reliance on authors to deposit articles is problematic. Publishers want to perform this action on behalf of their authors, but the NIH implementation requirements make this unnecessarily difficult. NIH should form a working group that includes publishers and the NIH representatives to work out the details of implementation.

AIP as publisher retains copyright but grants authors rights to deposit their manuscripts into Pub Med Central (PMC). That permission does not grant NIH the right to provide the manuscripts to other entities, domestic or international, unless agreed to by the publisher. The public law that had created the mandate said nothing about NIH sharing the deposited works with other entities. AIP will consider such actions to be a violation of its copyright and take action to protect its interest. In addition, we ask that NIH ensure all possible measures are taken to eliminate article piracy. Should a piracy occur, publishers are to be notified and provided with any information NIH may have about the infringer.

Furthermore, it should be stated for the record that Congress recently addressed the research-access issue in Title VII of the America COMPETES Act by establishing an access policy to research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In the National Science Foundation Authorization Act, which was signed into law by the President in August 2007 as Title VII of the America COMPETES Act (P.L.110-69), Congress addressed the issue of ensuring public access to the results of government-funded research. The Act directed NSF to make all “final project reports and citations of published research documents” resulting from NSF funded research available to the public in a timely manner and in electronic form through the NSF’s Web site. The Conference agreement (House Report 110-289) further clarified that NSF is required “to provide the public a readily accessible summary of the outcomes of NSF-sponsored projects,” along with “citations to journal publications,” in which funded researchers have published articles regarding such research.

Since the NSF research-access policy was developed by Congress and is now public law, and since NSF funds research for all disciplines (and 20% of all basic research), other Federal research-funding agencies should follow this model in making their research widely available to the public. The NSF research-access model helps meet the important objective of widespread dissemination of research findings without undermining the important intellectual property and copyright protections that help sustain the scientific publishing community.

Who pays for the value-added after an author submits his/her manuscript to a publisher or institutional online platform is an important question that needs to be addressed. Should institutional platforms—such as PMC—be using government funds to reproduce what is already effectively supplied by the private sector? Publishers (both for-profit and nonprofit) invest considerable resources in the editorial and production processes that underlie high-quality journals. The result is high-quality articles that have been peer reviewed, copyedited, and properly referenced to the world’s scientific literature. The articles are then made available in online versions on highly reliable, digital platforms that constantly evolve to meet the changing needs of their readers. They are also published and distributed in print versions—the only form accepted by some archivists and librarians as archival. Publishers who provide this value-added to the submitted manuscripts are compensated for this service under several business models. The models typically involve the reader paying (through institutional or individual subscriptions) or the author paying (through open-access fees or page charges) or a combination of the two. If the NIH public-access policy is implemented without real engagement of the publishing community, the viability of the journal publishing enterprise—a significant asset to the scientific community and valuable means of distribution to the international scientific community—could be adversely affected.

Scientific journals help assure the integrity of science by organizing and managing peer review of scientific manuscripts to guarantee their accuracy as well as publishing, archiving and disseminating the articles. Publishers invest hundreds of millions of dollars each year in the peer-review process that ensures all research articles are rigorously reviewed by experts in specialized fields before they are published. Federal agency research-access policies that would undermine our nation’s scientific enterprise must be avoided.

05/27/2008 at 09:02:42 AM Eaton Nancy MLS Penn State University University Park PA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Penn State University appreciates the opportunity to again submit comments expressing support for the NIH Public Access Policy. We believe the policy provides an unprecedented opportunity to create a publically accessible archive of NIH supported research that has the potential to accelerate the pace of research and discovery, promote innovation and serve patient needs and the public good. The following comments supplement earlier remarks made during the original request for information period (March 2008). Since that time the University Libraries, the Senior VP for Research and University Legal Counsel have been working on implementation of the Policy. We have: • Disseminated information explaining the policy to our NIH Principle Investigators and research administrators across all Penn State Campuses. • Developed a comprehensive website addressing issues related to compliance with the policy, including information on copyright, links to NIH Policy FAQ’s, and PubMed Central. • Developed a copyright addendum, using the language suggested by NIH, which has been vetted and approved by University Legal Counsel for use with publisher agreements. • Created a practical “How to Submit Your Manuscript to PubMed Central” training class with step-by-step instructions for use across the Penn State campuses. • Periodically send out targeted e-mails to NIH funded researchers with updated information in order to keep them informed.

05/18/2008 at 08:44:09 AM Eichenbaum Howard PhD Boston University Boston MA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  I think the private publication system that has evolved for dissemination of research results works rather well, both for investigators and for the public. The information contained in publications is readily available already. I am highly concerned about the costs to NIH that will occur as a consequence of the new initiative. Journals will have to pass on their costs to investigators, who will request those costs in their grant applications. And I am concerned about the archiving organization and protections offered through the current system.

04/28/2008 at 03:55:37 PM Emery David PhD University of Washington Seattle WA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  As currently implemented, this constitutes a significant new burden on NIH investigators, a burden that is unfunded. The NIH's public access policy should be enacted at the level of the NIH, using NIH funds. All papers of consequence are cited on PubMed - why then couldn't the PubMed infrastructure be used to transfer NIH-funded publications to the public domain? Investigators should be able to list their publications as always, and the NIH should shoulder the responsibility thereafter. It is hard enough to get our work published - why is the NIH putting up yet another hurdle?

05/16/2008 at 03:34:01 PM Emmett Ada   n/a Lawrence KS USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  It is reasonable that the embargo period be shorted to 6 months. Publishers can easily still make their needed profits in the first 6 months (and beyond) since most researchers prefer/require the most recent research. The shorter embargo period however gives the general public (who has funded the research through tax dollars at both the state and federal level-- funding the salaries of researchers/faculty at state universities and colleges and through federal grants). It is time that a balance be struck, where there has thus far been none, between the need for commercial and non-profit publishers to earn at least a modest profit for their value-added work and the (thus far ignored) need for the public to have rights to the social and public good it funds.

05/31/2008 at 11:37:44 AM English Ray Ph.D. Director of Libraries, Oberlin College Oberlin OH USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  I support the NIH policy in its current form. It is a major step forward that will produce significant new benefits for researchers and the general public. It will greatly increase the effectiveness of our government's investment in scientific research. While I favor the policy wholeheartedly, I do encourage NIH to develop a strategy to reduce the embargo period from the current twelve months. Given the time-sensitive nature of biomedical research, a six-month embargo, for example, would substantially increase the benefits realized from the policy. It would also make NIH's policy consistent with public access policies in other countries. Suggestions have been made by some publishers that NIH should implement a policy that involves linking to publishers' websites. NIH should reject this idea, not only because it would be a poor substitute for the current policy, but also because it would be contrary to the legal obligations of the agency. The language of the law is clear: electronic versions of final peer-reviewed manuscripts must be submitted to PubMedCentral and those manuscripts must be made publicly available in PubMedCentral.

05/17/2008 at 10:15:31 AM Firnhaber Gina MSN, MLS Laupus Library, East Carolina University Greenville NC USA Other
Question 1:  I work as a librarian assisting researchers in medicine, nursing and various allied health professions perform literature searches to support and design their research. If studies are being supported with government (ie taxpayer) monies there should not be an entire year lapse before the results of these activities are available to other researchers. I support the rights of publishers to make money but placing an embargo on information that has been gained using government funding gives second place to the people who really funded its creation in the first place. Perhaps a simple draft of study results should be publicly accessible initially and a cleaner, crafted paper required 1 year after publication. Researchers could access the early information and the public could be encouraged to focus on the more complete work.

05/18/2008 at 06:12:43 PM Fister Barbara MLIS, MA Gustavus Adolphus College St. Peter MN USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  I don't have particular concerns about the implementation; I just am happy that the NIH is taking this leadership role. As a librarian at a small college, our ability to support the work of young people getting started in the sciences and to support the work of their faculty mentors has been limited by a budget that can't sustain expensive STM journals. It makes sense for publicly-funded research results to be available for all, and it's a great help to us.

04/01/2008 at 01:50:27 PM Foster Ryan PhD Candidate University of Florida College of Medicine Gainesville FL USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  No

05/27/2008 at 09:31:52 AM Frank Martin Ph.D. American Physiological Society Bethesda MD USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  The RFI asks for recommendations for alternative implementation approaches. We continue to believe that a partnership between NIH and journal publishers would better achieve NIH’s goals while also addressing our community’s concerns about the policy as outlined above. Instead of NIH undertaking a whole new publishing venture that involves formatting and publishing unfinished manuscripts of authors, NIH should use existing links from NIH’s highly respected PubMed to journals’ websites for reader access to final, published articles. To address NIH’s desire to create an archive of manuscripts reporting NIH-funded research, journals would provide to NIH immediate access to journal content for internal use. This mechanism has several advantages to the current implementation plan. It would relieve the administrative burden on NIH-funded scientists because they would not have to take any additional steps to comply. They would simply continue submitting manuscripts to journals, as they always have. The integrity of the scientific literature would be ensured because only the final, published version of the article would be publicly available and archived by NIH. Articles would be available at significantly lower cost since publishers are already publishing, editing, and posting articles at no additional charge to the public. The database of articles would be more comprehensive and accurate for NIH portfolio analysis and strategic planning. This proposal was put forward by 56 organizations and publishers on October 15, 2005, and we urge NIH to reconsider it. This proposal would fulfill the public access policy as enacted by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 and would also specifically address copyright law concerns expressed by Congress.

04/01/2008 at 02:09:30 PM Freytag Richard Masters Freytag & Company, LLC Reston VA USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  If publishers continue to pressure against the Public Access Policy then NIH implement a voluntary online peer-review mechanism through the NIH website along with PubMed. Even the threat should quelly publisher resistance.

05/28/2008 at 04:00:29 PM Galea Sandro MD, DrPH University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  The current policy offloads a lot of responsibilities on the investigator. It seems that investigators have one of two options, neither entirely optimal. First, we can upload manuscripts (after seeking permission from the publisher) that are pre-prints, and hence which may be not identical to the post-print published by the publisher. Second, we can pay rather high fees to the publisher for public access. Neither of these options are ideal.

Clearly a far more desirable option would be for publishers to have an understanding that allows public access to the final, published version, of NIH-funded manuscripts that satisfies the desire for public access to these manuscripts. Perhaps a read-only repository could be established? Or a way for download of temporary files? Either way, the current system, requiring either the creation of an imperfect parallel track of manuscripts or the payment of rather large sums of money by the investigator seems subpar.

05/31/2008 at 02:44:29 PM Gallant Caroline Ph.D. Universities Allied for Essential Medicines & McGill University Cambridge Massachusetts USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  First of all, we would like to thank the NIH for continuing to engage with stakeholders. Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), an university student organization with chapters at nearly 40 universities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, believes that the current system established by the NIH represents the best method for ensuring a long-term, stable and effective scientific resource. Scientific innovation is best served when the fewest barriers possible stand in the way of access to knowledge. We applaud the uniform, accessible system that has been adopted by the NIH and would strongly urge that the NIH not consider alternatives that would diminish this simplicity or threaten the long-term viability of the NIH system as a one-stop location for articles resulting from public funding. The current system correctly builds upon the core mission of the university which is to widely disseminate knowledge for the public good.

05/30/2008 at 02:41:48 PM Giesecke Joan Doctorate University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln Nebraska USA Other
Question 1:  At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln we have developed a simple, cost effective system to alert faculty to the deposit requirement and have provided resources in the library to assit eith or to deposit publications for the faculty. We have found that so far faculty are publishing in journals where the publisher is depositing the article in PubMed for the authors. The process of depositing papers in Pub MEd is not impacting the decision of the library to purchase any given journal title.

05/30/2008 at 12:38:54 PM Givler Peter   Executi8ve Director, Association of American University Presses New York New York USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  NIH requested specific comments on its implementation approaches, compliance monitoring, and training offered. Assuming that the current "implementation approaches" are in fact the policies and procedures now spelled out in the PubMedCentral and NIH websites, we offer these suggestions that we believe would enhance implementation and observance of the Policy.

1. PMC now offers publishers various types of Participation Agreements, and under these publishers may submit NIH-funded articles to PMC on behalf of authors. The current file submission guidelines state: A journal must provide PubMed Central the full text of articles in an XML or SGML format that conforms to an acceptable journal article DTD (Document Type Definition). The original high-resolution, digital image files must also be provided for all figures. A PDF may be submitted in addition to the XML/SGML version of an article, but not as the primary (or only) form. and A journal that does not currently produce XML or SGML versions of its articles would have to add this process to its production stream or contract with a vendor to create XML from the article source files. Most university presses do not now operate production processes that would support production of these XML files. To suggest that they "add this process to the production stream," is not reasonable, when one considers that a press might only have a small number of NIH-funded articles to handle. We recommend that PMC alter the requirement and accept PDFs from publishers, just as PMC now does accept PDFs from authors. This would reduce the burden on many university presses and increase both required and voluntary participation.

2. The descriptive information about PMC explains that PMC is not intended to replace the original publication of the journal articles, rather to archive them and make them accessible in a particular way. The integrity of the contents then continues to rely on the editorial selection processes, peer-review processes, and to some extent on the editorial and production work provided by the journal editorial advisors and on the publishers. In order to present PMC readers with complete information about each article, we recommend that PMC incorporate the name of each journal's publisher in the primary citation of each article. Publishers should be offered the opportunity to provide a link through which readers could access the journal's and publisher's editorial policies, peer-review standards, and funding sources.

05/29/2008 at 03:42:57 PM Goetsch Lori MLS Kansas State University Manhattan Kansas USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  I am opposed to the alternative proposal for NIH to serve as a dark archive with lines to publishers' web sites. This does not achieve the goal of creating an open access research archives.My

05/30/2008 at 03:16:04 PM Goni Félix MD FEBS Leioa Bizkaia Spain Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:   Federation of European Biochemistry Societies Department of Biochemistry, University College London, Darwin Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

Dr Zerhouni National Institutes of Health 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20892

30th May 2008

Dear Dr Zerhouni, Re: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Mandatory Public Access Policy I am writing on behalf of the Federation of European Biochemistry Societies (FEBS) in response to a request for information (RFI) in the Federal Register, seeking public comment on the NIH Mandatory Public Access Policy. FEBS provides dedicated focal points for its vast network of members in molecular biology and promotes excellence in the molecular life sciences in Europe, through an extended programme of activities, ranging from fellowships, courses and workshops, conferences and scientific publications. FEBS is a not-for-profit scientific organization. Whilst our organization supports the principle of public access to government-funded research and efforts made to enhance public access to science, we have significant concerns about the impact of the public access policy. The policy will affect all stakeholders in the scientific research community but it is likely to have a particularly severe impact on societies such as ourselves, who rely on subscription revenue derived from our journal operations to fund the activities outlined above. We believe that the NIH policy must be implemented in a way that maximizes its effectiveness to the public and the scientific research community, whilst maintaining our journals and Societies. Importance of peer review Our organization believes strongly in high-quality journals as a means of ‘sorting the wheat from the chaff’, where readers can be sure that only the best studies have been accepted for publication. Our editorial boards consist of scientists who have demonstrated experimental insight and expertise in their own field and offer a fair and thorough peer-review of submitted manuscripts. In fields of research heavily dependent on experimental findings the quality of the data and the understanding of the limitations that need to be applied to its interpretation require review by scientists who are themselves intimately involved with these same techniques and are crucial to having the findings widely accepted by those in the field. In short, journals add considerable value by performing peer review. The effort and expense of this process is supported entirely by journals and not the NIH. It is a vital service for science and it is imperative that such a system of expert filtering continues. As subscription revenues decline alongside the free availability of these peer-reviewed manuscripts on PMC there is a real risk that the funds supporting the editorial costs of peer-review (funding the electronic editorial office and financial support of editors) will disappear. Infrastructure In the same way that learned societies act as experts in peer review, it is the active collaboration of our publishers which has aided the efficient transmission of the findings of research to others. This collaboration between experts in science and experts in communication is the principle element in making experimental data, interpretation and analysis available to other researchers world-wide. Just as our Societies’ income derived from our journal operations is fed back into science, publisher profits fund online developments. Once such example is Cross Ref where publishers have collaborated on this initiative bringing about great value to researchers. The notion that secure archiving and continued evolution can be delivered without the involvement of professional publishers who have developed this system seems to defy reason. In an ‘open access’ environment will repositories provide the infrastructure currently offered and continue the evolution of this scientific information process? Quality control In addition to undertaking the marketing, distribution and preservation of our journals, our publishers ensure that copyright protections are maintained, take action against piracy and protect authors’ copyright interests. How will the NIH ensure that the policy respects the integrity of the copyrighted content? We feel that subscription-based publishing has succeeded in providing quality assurance, and it important that the journal sites maintain the final published version which authors should cite. As such, NIH should link the accepted manuscript versions on PMC to the definitive published version on the journal sites (via the DOI) as a version of record.

On a final note, how is NIH planning to continue the dialogue with stakeholders? We would be keen to learn further how the policy develops and to see if our concerns might be addressed. Yours sincerely, Prof. Félix M. Goñi, Chairman, Publications Committee, FEBS

05/28/2008 at 11:50:38 AM Goodell Heather MIS American Heart Association Dallas TX USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  On behalf of the president of the American Heart Association, Dr. Daniel W. Jones, and the chair of the AHA Scientific Publishing Committee, Dr. David Gutterman, I am submitting a letter with the AHA's response to this policy. I am the Director of Scientific Publishing for the AHA. The text of the letter is in question #4.

05/29/2008 at 10:15:27 AM Green David MA, DPhil Global Journals Publishing Director, Taylor & Francis, Informa plc Milton Park Abingdon UK Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  Taylor & Francis and Informa Healthcare are part of the Academic and Scientific Division of Informa plc, which provides specialist, high value information to the global Academic & Scientific, Professional, and Commercial markets via Publishing, Events and Performance Improvement.

At the heart of every Informa product and service is research-based knowledge and information for a highly targeted expert audience. Informa publishes approximately 2,500 subscription based products and services delivered both electronically and in hardcopy, and 45,000 books.

Each year Informa produces over 12,000 events around the world powered by a marketing database of over 20 million contacts. Informa operates in over 80 countries, employing more than 10,000 people. 2000 of these employees are US citizens.

We are grateful for the opportunity to respond to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) request for information regarding its Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH Funded Research (the NIH Public Access Policy).

Response:

1) NIH should establish a formal and ongoing consultative mechanism between NIH and publishers in which NIH and publishers commit to attaining a balanced implementation of the policy that achieves the public access objectives without a negative impact on peer review and other scientific publishing. The Senate committee report (110-107) to the fiscal year 2008 Labor Health and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations bill directed NIH “…to seek and carefully take into account the advice of journal publishers on the implementation of this policy.” In addition, the Senate report highly encouraged “…collaborations with journal publishers that would enable them to deposit manuscripts on behalf of the funded investigator, if all parties agree.”

2) NIH should follow its Congressional mandate to receive a copy of final, peer-reviewed manuscripts and work with publishers to create a robust, distributed electronic network which openly and clearly displays links from unedited manuscripts in PubMed Central (PMC) which have not yet benefited from the final copyediting, fact-checking, and proofreading required for formal publication to a final authoritative version available either from the publisher’s website or, if publishers agree, from PubMed Central.

NIH should further work with publishers to enhance the MedLine/PubMed Central web site to enable full text searches of articles on the journals’ own websites. Such searches would yield links to finished articles on those websites rather than access to manuscripts as PMC now provides. Such a comprehensive search engine would do for biomedical research what search engines such as Google and Yahoo do for the web as a whole. We urge NIH to revisit this approach because it has a number of advantages to all parties.

For NIH, this arrangement would make it possible to search the text of all biomedical research articles and not just the 10% that are based on NIH-funded research. Journals, and especially high-quality journals that publish a significant proportion of NIH-funded research, would still be able to determine their own access policies within a 12-month window and based upon their own cost recovery requirements. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, instead of access to manuscripts, this would make it possible to locate the final copy-edited articles of record presented in context with links to related materials such as commentaries and corrections.

In working with publishers to pursue this alternate implementation of its Public Access Policy, NIH should consider the example of the America Competes Act (ACA) of 2007 which shows how the goal of public access to government funded research can be solved in a way which does not endanger the intellectual property rights of private industry, its support for peer review, and the integrity of the scientific record. Section 7010 of the ACA states: The Director (of the National Science Foundation) shall ensure that all final project reports and citations of published research documents resulting from research funded, in whole or in part, by the Foundation, are made available to the public in a timely manner and in electronic form through the Foundation’s Web site.

03/31/2008 at 06:09:49 PM Gudas Lorraine PhD Weill Cornell Medical College New York New York USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  I think that this policy puts one more administrative burden on researchers, who are already being overwhelmed with new mandates, even as the competition for funding becomes greater and greater. My recommendation is that the journals submit these manuscripts for public access 6 months after publication.

05/29/2008 at 03:27:59 PM Hair William BS, MDiv, MLS Baylor University Waco TX USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  I am aware of a proposal for an alternative implementation of the Public Access Policy, where NIH would act as a dark archive and provide links to publishers' Web sites. This proposal would not achieve a major goal of the NIH, which is to provide a permanent, stable archive of its research. For a database to be effectively curated and for the quality of material it contains preserved, it must be used regularly.

Libraries have a long history in dealing with archiving and preservation issues, and can say emphatically that a dark archive that links to publishers’ Web sites is an unacceptable alternative that NIH has consistently and wisely rejected.

03/31/2008 at 02:03:22 PM Harnad Stevan PhD Universite du Quebec a Montreal & Southampton University Montreal Quebec Canada Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Yes. Modify the procedure for fulfilling the deposit requirement of the NIH self-archiving mandate in order to make it compatible with, and to reinforce, university self-archiving mandates (such as Harvard's):

In the NIH interface, at the point of deposit, add a feature that allows the full-text deposit to be downloaded from the URL where the full-text has already been deposited in the fundee's institution's Institutional Repository (IR).

And stipulate in the overall instructions that the preferred way to fulfill NIH's self-archiving mandate is to deposit the full-text directly in the fundee's IR and then download it to the NIH deposit site.

05/30/2008 at 04:45:26 AM Herrmann Guido F. PhD, MBA Managing Director Thieme Chemistry, Thieme Publishers Stuttgart Germany Germany Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  Thieme Publishing Group, based in Stuttgart, Germany, is a privately held, medical and scientific publishing company. Thieme employs 900 people and maintains offices in 7 cities, including New York, Beijing, Delhi and Stuttgart. For 120 years, Thieme's high-quality books and journals have been a vital resource for scientists, physicians, researchers and academics. Thieme publishes 130 peer-reviewed journals and over 500 new books annually. All scientific and an increasing number of medical publications are also available online. Please visit www.thieme-connect.com for more information.

Thieme is grateful for the opportunity to respond to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) request for information regarding its Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH Funded Research (the NIH Public Access Policy). Our written comments follow.

1) NIH should establish a formal and ongoing consultative mechanism between NIH and publishers in which NIH and publishers commit to attaining a balanced implementation of the policy that achieves the public access objectives without a negative impact on peer review publishing. The Senate committee report (110-107) to the fiscal year 2008 Labor Health and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations bill directed NIH “…to seek and carefully take into account the advice of journal publishers on the implementation of this policy.” In addition, the Senate report highly encouraged “…collaborations with journal publishers that would enable them to deposit manuscripts on behalf of the funded investigator, if all parties agree.”

2) NIH should follow its Congressional mandate to receive a copy of final, peer-reviewed manuscripts and work with publishers to create a robust, distributed electronic network which openly and clearly displays links from unedited manuscripts in PubMed Central (PMC) which have not yet benefited from the final copyediting, fact-checking, and proofreading required for formal publication to a final authoritative version available either from the publisher’s website or, if publishers agree, from PubMed Central.

NIH should further work with publishers to enhance the MedLine/PubMed Central web site to enable full text searches of articles on the journals’ own websites. Such searches would yield links to finished articles on those websites rather than access to manuscripts as PMC now provides. Such a comprehensive search engine would do for biomedical research what search engines such as Google and Yahoo do for the web as a whole. We urge NIH to revisit this approach because it has a number of advantages to all parties.

For NIH, this arrangement would make it possible to search the text of all biomedical research articles and not just the 10% that are based on NIH-funded research. Journals, and especially high-quality journals that publish a significant proportion of NIH-funded research, would still be able to determine their own access policies within a 12-month window and based upon their own cost recovery requirements. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, instead of access to manuscripts, this would make it possible to locate the final copy-edited articles of record presented in context with links to related materials such as commentaries and corrections.

In working with publishers to pursue this alternate implementation of its Public Access Policy, NIH should consider the example of the America Competes Act (ACA) of 2007 which shows how the goal of public access to government funded research can be solved in a way which does not endanger the intellectual property rights of private industry, its support for peer review, and the integrity of the scientific record. Section 7010 of the ACA states: The Director (of the National Science Foundation) shall ensure that all final project reports and citations of published research documents resulting from research funded, in whole or in part, by the Foundation, are made available to the public in a timely manner and in electronic form through the Foundation’s Web site.

05/06/2008 at 12:15:37 PM Hickey Damon PhD Director of Libraries, The College of Wooster Wooster OH USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  I am the Director of Libraries at the College of Wooster, a midwestern liberal-arts college that has long led among American colleges and universities in the percentage of its alumni who pursue graduate study in the sciences. Our record is due in part to our program of Independent Study, which requires all of our students to engage in original research in their major fields in their junior and senior years. Accessibility to published research, especially in the sciences, is therefore essential to the education of these students, many of whom will go on to be the next generation of American scientists and researchers.

I want to thank the NIH for their openness to comments from those of us who have a primary interest in the availability of scientific research. We support the Public Access Policy (NOT-OD-05-022) as currently articulated, because it will expand access by our faculty and students to NIH-funded research, accelerate research on our campus, contribute to our core mission as a research-based undergraduate institution, improve access for other institutions with fewer financial resources to important research, and ensure that citizens of this nation are able to get and use the results of the research their tax dollars have paid for.

Those who have opposed the legislation that led to this policy and who have demanded that an additional period for comments be opened have made false claims that the policy will result in the cancellation of journal subscriptions en masse. As the person responsible for purchasing these subscriptions, I can assure you that this is not the case. The fact that public access is not required for 6-12 months after publication means that we will continue to subscribe in order to obtain the results of research as soon as it is available. We know full well that crippling the scholarly publishing industry would not be in our interest, our faculty’s, or our students’.

03/31/2008 at 11:30:31 AM Hildebrand John G. Ph.D. University of Arizona Tucson AZ USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  Instead of requiring submission of an article as soon as the manuscript has been accepted for publication, it would be wiser and more palatable to require submission AFTER publication. Articles often undergo final editing when in galley proof, and in fact serious mistakes sometimes are corrected then. It would be best to have the version submitted to PubMed be identical to the version ultimately published.

05/30/2008 at 04:19:35 PM Hirtle Peter M.A., M.L.S. Cornell University Ithaca NY USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  NIH should require that the version of the research as published, and not the author's final manuscript, should be submitted. In my discussions with faculty at Cornell University, they almost always want their best work - the published version of the paper - to be what is read and cited.

I see two ways this could happen. One, NIH could just require that researchers submit NIH-funded research to journals that allow the published version to be available through NIH. There would be no copyright or ownership issues associated with this, since journals that will not allow the published version to be distributed by NIH would be off limits to NIH researchers.

Alternatively, NIH could encourage the use of paid Open Access publishing alternatives. Researchers here are reluctant, however, to use existing grant funds to pay the Open Access charges of major publishers. While grantees recognize that their existing grant funds can be used to pay open access fee, the grant funds they receive are never enough to pay for the work that needs to be done under the grant. Most are therefore reluctant to divert any of the funding to publication costs. Grantees are also worried that including publication costs in proposed grants would make their grants appear to be expensive and less competitive.

A solution would be for NIH to implement a separate fund upon which PIs can draw to pay open access fees from publishers. Such a fund would also save NIH money in the long run since institutions would not be claiming Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs on grant funds devoted to publication.

04/01/2008 at 03:38:07 PM Hulbert II Leland   None Gloversville NY USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  No. I applaud the change to make public funded research more open and accessible to the public.

05/30/2008 at 06:39:32 PM Hume Wyatt R. Ph.D. University of California Oakland CA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  As discussed in the response to Question 4 below and in the attachment, to reduce the administrative burden and confusion resulting from the varied and uncoordinated roles of authors, PIs, institutions and publishers in ensuring compliance with the NIH public access policy, UC strongly recommends that NIH undertake a systematic program, working with publishers and institutions, to develop a consistent and streamlined procedure for deposit that addresses rights questions and other implementation issues and can be used by all NIH-funded PIs without reference to the specific policies and practices of individual journals and publishers. UC would be glad to work with NIH and interested peer institutions to develop and implement this.


File Link:  U-Cal_public-access-policy_2008-05-30.txt
Description:  University of California comments on the NIH public access policy

05/30/2008 at 05:10:29 PM Israel Beth   Arizona State University Tempe Arizona USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  The descriptive information about PMC explains that PMC is not intended to replace the original publication of the journal article, rather to archive them and make them accessible in a particular way. The integrity of the contents then continues to rely on the editorial selection processes, peer-review processes, and to some extent on the editorial and production work provided by the journal editorial advisors and on the publishers. In order to present PMC readers with complete information about each article, we recommend that PMC incorporate the name of each journal’s publisher in the primary citation of each article. Publishers should be offered the opportunity to provide a link through which readers could access the journal’s and publisher’s editorial policies, peer-review standards, and funding sources.

We are aware of a proposal for an alternative implementation of the Public Access Policy, where NIH would act as a dark archive and provide links to publishers’ web sites. This proposal would NOT achieve a major goal of the NIH, which is to provide a free, digital and permanent stable archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. For a database to be effectively curated and for the quality of material it contains preserved, it must be used regularly. Libraries have a long history in dealing with archiving and preservation issues. We can say emphatically that a dark archive that links to publishers’ web sites is an unacceptable alternative to PMC that NIH has consistently and wisely rejected. Arizona State University fully supports the NIH Public Access Policy in its current form, and commends the NIH’s extensive efforts to seek input from the full range of stakeholders. ASU also supports the efforts of all to move to implement this congressionally approved policy. This policy is supportive of our institution’s and higher education’s commitment to making the results of scientific inquiry available as well as enabling the building on the discoveries of others to enhance understanding. Simply put, the public, as the funding source of this research, is entitled to have free access to the discoveries. One of ASU’s faculty members commented, “I think NIH’s recent policy of open-access to research results is long overdue.”

Several parts of ASU worked together to insure our ability to comply with this mandate. The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs communicated multiple times with faculty members already receiving support and has established a mechanism for timely reminders to researchers of the requirement to deposit. This office worked with the University Libraries to develop useful web pages. Both of these units encouraged researchers to become familiar with the requirements of the mandate and a webinar on the topic was well-attended. The Office of General Counsel advised all of us on the issues of copyright management.

There is mixed opinion at ASU regarding a six month or one-year embargo. However, it is the case that journals would not be cancelled at ASU for the reason that articles are available in open access repositories. The pace of science renders ASU faculty members less competitive when subscriptions are canceled. It was further noted by a faculty member that publisher archives are “more tidy” than the current PUBMED Central.

It would be useful if NIH would maintain a list of publishers whose author publishing agreements are consistent with deposit to PMC, without additional copyright addendums. This enables faculty members to “do science” and not be troubled by bureaucracy.


File Link:  nih_public_access_policy.txt
Description:  nih public access policy.txt

05/30/2008 at 04:01:53 PM Johnson JQ M.A. University of Oregon Libraries Eugene OR USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  - NIH should negotiate additional agreements with journals to allow authors to deposit their author's final version, and publicize the list along with the one in submit_process_journals.htm - Embargo period should be decreased - NIH should set up improved notification and communications tools between PMC and other systems - NIH should not consider major changes to current implementation

See response to Q4 for expansion.

05/28/2008 at 11:09:32 AM Johnson Scott PhD Towson University Towson MD USA Other
Question 1:  I am the chair of the Publications Committee of a small scientific society. Our primary function is to publish papers in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. At present, we rely on a major publisher to produce our journal. The publisher is only going to continue this endeavor if it is reasonably profitable for them. We are concerned that our publisher’s subscription revenue will decline when the public is given free access to papers published in our journal in Pub Med Central within such a short time frame. We do not understand why NIH cannot work out an agreement with publishers to establish public access to articles, through publisher’s websites, within a reasonable amount of time. Such a system would also save taxpayers and enormous amount of money.

05/30/2008 at 11:15:43 AM Joseph Heather MS The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition Washington DC USA Other
Question 1:  SPARC fully supports the NIH Public Access Policy in its current form, and commend the NIH’s extensive efforts to seek input from the full range of stakeholders throughout the policy's development. We believe the agency’s overall response to constructive input has been commendable and that a fundamentally balanced and workable policy has resulted from this process. We offer further comments in the attachment below to demonstrate the strategic soundness and overall balance of the policy, and to underscore our community’s continued willingness to work with NIH to ensure that the benefits of this policy are be fully realized by all stakeholders.


File Link:  SPARC_NIH-PA_RFI_FINAL_TXT.txt
Description:  SPARC Response to NOT-OD-08-060

04/09/2008 at 09:25:24 PM Kobertz William Ph. D. UMASS Medical School Worcester MA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  This (uploading the pdf file of accepted manuscripts) should be done when we file our annual progress report in the commons. It is redundant to have to send the pubmed ID in the progress report and then upload the pdf file via another website.

05/13/2008 at 03:39:18 PM Koopman Ann M.A. Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia PA USA Other
Question 1:  Speaking as a librarian and manager of the University's institutional repository, I strongly encourage the NIH to reduce the permitted publisher embargo period to 6 months, instead of 12. Existing web-based support information and third-party deposit options are extremely helpful. Our library has created a brochure and webpage to educate our faculty. We strongly support the NIH Public Access Policy, and are providing staff assistance (for copyright education, deposit, and PMCID searching) to assure its success with our faculty.

04/02/2008 at 01:59:18 PM Labuhn Denis MD Einstein NY NY USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  Yes. Obviously this undermines copyright laws and by extension patent law and other intellectual property laws. This needs doing in the digital age. Once the idea is out then it belongs to everyone and should be used freely. The one year grace period will ease the transition and destruction of private journals like Cell and Nature. That is OK. They are dinosaurs and need to go along with all intellectual property rights laws. Pharmaceutical companies will be the next to go. There is a problem there because withoug patents they will not be able to recoup their research and development costs. That 3/4 billion dollar FDA regulation will stop new drug discovery and keep them from being brought to US markets. That is OK. The Chinese will do it for us soon anyway. Please please information must be free. No restrictions. Let's destroy our intellectual economic base and get on with the brave new world. China will give us what we need.

04/30/2008 at 03:49:03 PM Lackner andrew DVM, PhD Tulane University Covington LA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  It makes little sense to go after individual NIH funded investigators for this. You should work with the journals to get this information. This represents a significant additional burden on investigators.

It makes little sense to require accepted manuscripts to be posted if it does not come through the journal. You are going to end up with someone submitting a manuscript as submitted that isn't and then this will get used as an example of how scientists can not be trusted.

04/01/2008 at 11:51:59 AM LaValle Craig   Prologic Technology Systems Austin TX USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  I would like to see all taxpayer funded research, in whole or in part, published and accessible free of charge in the public domain.

04/28/2008 at 03:33:56 PM Lawton Teri PhD Perception Dynamics Institute Del Mar CA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  You have made an NIH policy that is already out of date if you are referring to easy access to published work, since most scientists post their publications on their website.

You now have created such a tedious, laborious process for publication that I will never submit a grant proposal to NIH again. You have ascertained that original, creative, productive ideas such as pathtoreading.com are funded elsewhere.

05/27/2008 at 07:43:51 PM Lee Daniel M.A., M.L.S. University of Arizona Tucson Arizona USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  The submission process needs to be as simple as possible, ideally as simple as emailing a reprint to a colleague. Although there are tools available to help PIs, the recommended implementation still requires an understanding of a range of publisher policies and, often, negotiation to ensure necessary rights are retained to comply with the policy. Compliance also requires following a process that is outside a normal workflow.

Admittedly, The NIH is working within a publishing environment that is not of their making and the NIH has no easy way to compel publishers to participate themselves. However, it would benefit all parties if NIH would work with publishers to increase the number who automatically submit manuscripts for funded authors. Researchers can help drive this by requesting publisher participation, but the leverage of a large funding agency reaching out to publishers will help ease the transition.

Ultimately, to have the greatest impact, NIH support should take advantage of the scientific skills of researchers rather than requiring even modest bureaucracies.

05/16/2008 at 02:50:17 PM Lewis Margaret   University of Illinois Champaign Ill. USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  Not at this time. I am new to this issue. I strongly support wide access to all publicly funded research. As a library employee I know that decisions to cut journal subscriptions are made daily because of the cost and libraries limited funding.

05/29/2008 at 05:04:56 PM Lougee Wendy MA, MLS University of Minnesota Libraries Minneapolis MN USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  The University of Minnesota Libraries support the efforts that NIH is taking to ensure an effective implementation of the updated Public Access Policy. We believe that this policy will speed the pace of discovery by expanding access to research findings supported with federal tax dollars in order to better advance science and improve health.

The NIH public access policy directs welcomed attention to the issue of author rights. Our University encourages faculty and students to exercise their interests in ownership and use of their copyrighted works in a manner that provides the greatest possible scholarly and public access to their work. We have worked over the past year on a number of initiatives to support this goal including conducting an educational campaign on author rights (http://www.lib.umn.edu/scholcom/au-rights.phtml) and the creation of an institutional repository (http://conservancy.umn.edu/). The University of Minnesota, as a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (Big 10 schools plus Chicago) has endorsed an “addendum to publication agreements” for authors to use with their publishers to retain rights for use of their work in their teaching, for posting on their personal websites, or depositing to institutional or subject repositories, such as PubMed Central.

University Libraries have invested significant resources ensuring that our staff are informed about the policy and are prepared to assist authors with the submission process. We have developed a successful partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research to implement the policy. We have created a website to centralize all information and institutional advisories about the policy (http://www.lib.umn.edu/scholcom/NIHaccess.phtml); met with faculty and administrative committees to discuss the policy and plan its implementation; provided notice to Principal Investigators about their responsibilities; and created a letter to publishers from the Vice President for Research for use by authors in the first submission of a manuscript that informs publishers of University of Minnesota intent to comply with the NIH policy and requests their support in permitting deposit of manuscripts. Finally, we have shared best practice experiences with colleagues at other institutions.

We encourage NIH to work toward reducing the maximum embargo period from 12 months to 6 months, which would be more in sync with other funding agencies in the UK and Canada, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. A 6 month embargo maximum would also be consistent with the CIC addendum mentioned above, creating less confusion for our authors.

A 6 month embargo provides a sufficient safeguard for publishers. The faculty and students at the University of Minnesota require the most current information for their research and study – a delay of 6 months for access to critical information is not acceptable. The journals to which we subscribe are based on faculty needs, quality and use of the journals in our setting, and our budget situation which changes from year to year. The NIH Public Access Policy is NOT a factor in our cancellation decisions. However, it COULD be a factor in our assessment of journals to subscribe to in the future – favoring those journals which comply with the NIH Policy and are supportive of our authors in facilitating that compliance.

05/31/2008 at 02:56:21 PM Luce Richard MA Emory University Atlanta GA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  The current embargo period of 12 months is longer than necessary to address the economic concerns of publishers who are interested in protecting their subscription revenue stream and is much too long to effectively promote the advancement of research in the sciences. An embargo period of 6 months would better ensure that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. A 6 month embargo would not endanger the revenues of the publishers because libraries will not cancel journal subscriptions because some articles from a journal will appear in PubMed Central after six months.


File Link:  Emory_University_NIH_Public_Access_Policy_comments.txt
Description:  Emory University NIH Public Access Polcy comments

05/22/2008 at 11:29:23 AM Lupton Joanne PhD President, American Society for Nutrition Bethesda MD USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  1. The inclusion of new language extending the policy to review articles is of serious concern for the following reasons: (1) the original work cited in the article, if funded by NIH, would already have been disclosed and made available; (2) review articles are not original research that could be tied to a specific NIH grant; and, (3) journals and their subscribers place a high value on review articles, as they represent unique content and include added analysis. Loss of such articles as a benefit to paid subscribers has significant financial implications.

2. In many cases, deposition of the manuscript is duplicative since they are available free of charge on the publisher’s site after 12 months. NIH should consider the costs that could be saved by simply linking to the publisher's sites and not duplicating existing services already provided by publishers.


File Link:  letter_to_NIH_on_Public_Access_Policy_FINAL.txt
Description:  Letter from ASN on Public Access policy

04/28/2008 at 10:39:13 PM Lustig Arthur PhD Tulane University New Orleans LA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  I just published in Chromosoma, a journal that gives you two alternatives. Pay 3000.00 to keep the copyright and have open transfer or pay no cost and allow viewing only for those to pay. Other journals have similar policies that are inconsistent with NIH policy. What action should I take?

04/30/2008 at 02:59:24 PM MacLennan John PhD University of Cincinnati Cincinnati OH USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  NIH should go after the journals directly if they really think this is worth it and settle it.

04/28/2008 at 03:38:43 PM Means Michael   President, Health First Rockledge Florida USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  I have received the following email notice from you four times. Please stop sending repeatedly.

>>>April 28, 2008

Dear Members of the NIH Research Community:

I am writing to remind you that the mandatory NIH Public Access Policy (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-033.html) applies to final peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008. Making published research funded by NIH accessible to everyone, including health care providers, patients, educators and scientists, helps advance science and improve human health. We all have a role to play in achieving this goal, and I appreciate your efforts to make the NIH Public Access Policy successful.

The NIH Public Access Policy implements Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 (see http://publicaccess.nih.gov/policy.htm), which was signed into law late last year. Compliance with this Policy is a legal requirement and a term and condition for all active grants and contracts awarded as of April 7, 2008. Failure to comply may trigger one or more enforcement actions, depending on the severity and duration of the non-compliance.

Please see the Public Access Web site for the tools you need to comply with the Policy. The Web site houses Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), training information, and other resources.

To ensure compliance with the Policy, please remember to:

Address Copyright - Make sure that any copyright transfer or other publication agreements allow your paper to be submitted to NIH in accordance with the Policy.

Submit Papers upon Acceptance for Publication

1. Some journals will submit the final published article on your behalf, without your involvement. See http://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process_journals.htm for a list of these journals.

2. For any journal other than those on this list, please:

a. When submitting a paper for publication, inform the journal that the final peer-reviewed manuscript is subject to the NIH Public Access Policy.

b. Make sure that any copyright transfer or other publication agreement allows the final peer-reviewed manuscript to be submitted to NIH in accordance with the Policy. For more information, see the FAQ Whose approval do I need to submit my article to PubMed Central? and consult with your Institution.

c. Submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript to NIH upon acceptance for publication at http://www.nihms.nih.gov/. See the Submission Process for more information.

Cite Papers

§ When citing your NIH-funded papers in NIH applications, proposals or progress reports, please include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) for each paper.

§ NIH will monitor compliance through citations. Effective May 25, 2008, when your NIH Program Officer reviews your progress report or application, he or she will be expecting a PMCID in the citation of every applicable paper that arose out of your NIH funding, or a manuscript submission system reference number (NIHMSID) if the PMCID has not been issued. See Section C of our FAQ for examples.

§ If you publish through a journal listed under http://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process_journals.htm, there might be a slight delay in assignment of a PMCID. That is okay. We have signed agreements with these journals that allow NIH to resolve submission with them without your involvement. To facilitate your Program Officer’s job, we ask that you indicate ‘PMC Journal- In Process’ until the PMCID is available.

The NIH Public Access Policy is a legal requirement and represents an important opportunity for science and medicine. We are very interested in your feedback on the Policy and are soliciting input through a request for information from March 31, 2008 to May 31, 2008. Please send any comments or suggestions to http://publicaccess.nih.gov/comments.htm.

Sincerely,

Norka Ruiz Bravo, PhD NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research

For the latest in NIH grants policies and initiatives, subscribe to the NIH Extramural Nexus

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05/15/2008 at 10:25:28 AM Mercer Holly MLIS University of Kansas Lawrence KS USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Regarding possible changes to the revised NIH Public Access Policy, the University of Kansas encourages NIH to reconsider the current embargo period of 12 months. An embargo period of 6 months or less is appropriate and will advance science through the sharing of new knowledge. Research libraries will not cancel needed biomedical journal subscriptions if a 6 month embargo is implemented. A 6 month embargo constitutes too long a delay for access to needed research information. Moreover, there remains a significant amount of needed biomedical information not covered by the revised NIH Public Access Policy.

05/29/2008 at 03:46:16 PM Michalak Sarah MLS University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill NC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Along with many institutions many institutions, we work to educate faculty about their copyrights and related responsibilities; clear guidance and greater assistance from NIH to researchers would be beneficial.

05/29/2008 at 03:46:52 PM Michalak Sarah MLS University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill NC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Along with many institutions many institutions, we work to educate faculty about their copyrights and related responsibilities; clear guidance and greater assistance from NIH to researchers would be beneficial.

05/30/2008 at 01:01:08 PM Michalak Sarah MLS University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill NC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  This comment supplements those we submitted yesterday. We have recently learned of calls for the PubMed Central archive to be made a "dark archive" that links to publisher Web sites. This proposal would not achieve the goal of creating a permanent and stable archive of NIH-funded research and would not enhance access to such research. NIH has wisely rejected this alternative, and we urge NIH to maintain this position.

05/30/2008 at 01:01:38 PM Michalak Sarah MLS University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill NC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  This comment supplements those we submitted yesterday. We have recently learned of calls for the PubMed Central archive to be made a "dark archive" that links to publisher Web sites. This proposal would not achieve the goal of creating a permanent and stable archive of NIH-funded research and would not enhance access to such research. NIH has wisely rejected this alternative, and we urge NIH to maintain this position.

04/01/2008 at 09:28:28 AM Milgram Eric Ph.D. Individual Wake Forest NC USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  No. Clearly, much effort was put into planning the policy and I don't see any obvious problems with it.

05/13/2008 at 09:00:24 AM Miller Jonathan MLS Rollins College Winter Park Florida USA Other
Question 1:  Just make it as easy as possible for authors to submit their manuscripts. In my experience with other institutional repositories , users need a lot of support in successfully submitting documents. Make it flexible and simple and you will avoid non-compliance.

05/29/2008 at 12:12:03 PM Mower Allyson MA University of Utah Salt Lake City UT USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Institutional repositories, similar to publishers/journals, could be used a source of content.

05/28/2008 at 12:38:31 PM Mullaly-Quijas Peggy PhD University of Missouri - Kansas City Kansas City MO USA Other
Question 1:  I would recommend that the embargo be 6 months long, not 12.

04/01/2008 at 04:45:44 PM Murphy-Ullrich Joanne PhD UAB Birmingham AL USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  The requirement to include the PMCID number in NIH applications is an undue burden. This means modifying each investigator's endNote or Ref Manager libraries one by one to include this number. This is going to be time consuming and cumbersome.

05/31/2008 at 12:55:26 PM Murray-Rust Peter D Phil (Oxon) University of Cambridge Cambridge none UK Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  There is an urgent requirement in bioscience to use machines to extract information from the full-text of papers (”text-mining” mining and “data-mining”). Examples of this use are the machine-assisted annotation of genomes, the extraction of concepts from text and the linking of information from many different disciplines. In my own field of molecular informatics it is possible to scan a million Pubmed abstracts a day and extrcat mention of new chemical compounds of biological interest. It is now well known that abstracts alone do not give sufficient information and that access to the full-text is required.

Many publications are accompanied by data, and indeed for many of these (e.g. about sequences and structures of biomolecules) the data are often more important than the fulltext. Although the STM publishers have urged their members to regard data as facts and therefore free of copyright, several publishers label data as copyright, thus effectively barring the legitimate re-use of data. It is important that the NIH challenges this and forbids it on PMC.

Many data are embedded in the full text and can be extracted by machines (”text-mining”). This process is made more tractable if the text is available in XML form (including XHTML) and I support the use of these formats.

Text-mining” and “data-mining” are hardly mentioned - if at all - in the NIH’s description and requirements. I would therefore wish to see positive indication that the NIH supports the re-use of the material, in high-throughput mode.

04/15/2008 at 01:14:45 PM Myers Gary MD University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester NY USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:   It is reasonable to require that NIH investigators submit a pdf of any published manuscripts that result from NIH funding. It is not reasonable to require each individual investigator to place them in the public domain. In essence this means that thousands of investigators must divert valuable resources and time to learning the system. It would be more reasonable to have an office at NIH that is responsible for obtaining the PubMed number and placing them in the public domain, a process that requires learning the copyright restrictions of thousands of journals.

05/28/2008 at 01:32:07 PM ness roberta MD, MPH University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh PA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  Yes. NIH could work with journals directly, as they do through PubMed, and in that way provide timely public access to publications. In other words, rather than shifting responsibility to investigators, they could take primary responsibility for assuring public access.

05/31/2008 at 03:01:06 PM Newcomb Douglas Master of Science Special Libraries Association Alexandria VA USA Other
Question 1:  The Special Libraries Association (SLA) appreciates the manner in which the NIH has consistently and willingly engaged its stakeholders in an open and transparent fashion. Independently, and as one of several national library organizations acting in unison, SLA has repeatedly expressed support for open public access to the results of research funded by the NIH and will continue to do so. SLA supports the NIH Public Access Policy in general and its implementation as currently articulated. This policy is a significant opportunity for researchers to expand access to NIH-funded research, and to use and build upon this information in unprecedented ways. The policy will promote new discoveries, help to stimulate innovation, and accelerate the pace of research in general.

One recommendation SLA would make to improve the policy is to shorten the embargo period to six months. A shorter embargo period would more accurately reflect the pace of research and discovery within the biomedical field, and at the same time align the NIH policy with those in around the world, such as Canada, the European Union. A six-month embargo is supported by the increasing adoption of author addenda, which enables authors to retain rights to their work while providing the publisher the license to publish. In our highly competitive global economy, a shortened embargo is an important component to ensure that U.S. policy keeps our research institutions competitive with rest of world.

05/29/2008 at 01:25:46 PM Newman Kathleen PhD University of Illinois Library Urbana IL USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  I have heard that there is a proposal that PMC become a preservation archive, unaccessible to all except in a cataclysm. And that instead of making papers available directly from PMC, links to the publisher's websites be made available, instead. This is totally not within the spirit or meaning of the law whereby biomedical literature was to be made freely and publicly available to all. Merely pointing to a publishers site does not guarantee that the paper will be openly available, nor that it will be available for all time (publishers frequently merge, buy titles, etc.)

An advantage I can see to this proposal is that the reader would truly have access to the absolute final, published version of the paper, as opposed to, in some cases, just the penultimate version of the paper. But I think studies currently underway will show that this is not a huge problem, and thus do not override the guaranteed availability of the research findings.

05/29/2008 at 06:54:21 PM Ogburn Joyce MSLS, MA University of Utah, University Librarian Salt Lake City UT USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  The University of Utah fully supports the NIH Public Access Policy and looks forward to the enormous benefits that will result from its implementation. Researchers, patients and others would benefit from changing the requirement for deposit from 12 months to 6 months. This would not harm the market for journals while it places information in the hands of medical practitioners and researchers much sooner. Many rural communities, health care workers, American Indian communities, and others that lack access to a big research institution and availability to research results need this information without ado. Our libraries will continue to subscribe to journals for our researchers and practitioners who need access upon publication.

Alternate access means have been proposed to have the NIH point or link to articles at the publishers’ sites. This approach is not true public access since the articles would not be in a public space and there are no guarantees that this method would be permanent or stable. It does not meet the goals of preservation and curation. This approach also does not lend itself to data mining by the NIH, which may seek to understand trends or the impact of NIH funding programs. The content and the control of access and use still remains in the hands of the publishers, not the NIH.

05/28/2008 at 01:40:09 PM Oliver Kathleen MSLS, MPH Johns Hopkins University Libraries Council Baltimore MD USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  We believe the following suggestions, if implemented, would facilitate compliance for investigators, authors and institutions. They are • NIH could publish recommendations for authors on reserving rights with publishers who use on-line one click contracts, and • NIH could enable libraries to make submissions on behalf of faculty.

05/06/2008 at 02:55:14 PM Palazzo Robert PhD President, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Bethesda MD USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) is a coalition of 21 scientific societies, representing more than 80,000 investigators. Our mission is to enhance the ability of scientists to improve, through their research, the health, well-being and productivity of all people.

FASEB and member societies collectively publish approximately 50 journals using a range of publishing models. They will be affected differently by the policy, and some of them will raise additional issues. All believe that the NIH public access policy does not represent the best method of achieving NIH’s goals of public access, portfolio management, and archiving of manuscripts reporting on NIH-funded research. In addition; we believe the policy will duplicate private publishers’ services using public funds, undermine the integrity of the scientific literature, and impose an unnecessary burden on investigators and institutions.

The NIH approach is inferior to innovations that publishers currently offer and continue to invest in improving. Most of our member society journals make their entire content available freely after 12 months or sooner, offer content at low subscription and pay-per-article fees, and provide enhanced functionality including integrated links to research databases. FASEB is proud that its member societies are in the forefront of electronic publishing and archiving. We believe that NIH should work collaboratively with publishers to encourage and promote these efforts, not attempt to duplicate or compete with them.

The RFI asks for recommendations for alternative implementation approaches. We continue to believe that a partnership between NIH and journal publishers would better achieve NIH’s goals while also addressing our community’s concerns about the policy as outlined above. Instead of NIH undertaking a whole new publishing venture that involves formatting and publishing unfinished manuscripts of authors, NIH should use existing links from NIH’s highly respected PubMed to journals’ websites for reader access to final, published articles. To address NIH’s desire to create an archive of manuscripts reporting NIH-funded research, journals would provide to NIH immediate access to journal content for internal use. This mechanism has several advantages to the current implementation plan. It would relieve the administrative burden on NIH-funded scientists because they would not have to take any additional steps to comply. They would simply continue submitting manuscripts to journals, as they always have. The integrity of the scientific literature would be ensured because only the final, published version of the article would be publicly available and archived by NIH. Articles would be available at significantly lower cost since publishers are already publishing, editing, and posting articles at no additional charge to the public. The database of articles would be more comprehensive and accurate for NIH portfolio analysis and strategic planning. This proposal was put forward by 56 organizations and publishers on October 15, 2005, and we urge NIH to reconsider it. This proposal would fulfill the public access policy as enacted by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 and would also specifically address copyright law concerns expressed by Congress.

It is FASEB’s recommendation that NIH efforts should focus on ways to work with publishers to achieve common goals, and we stand ready to work with NIH on this effort.

05/30/2008 at 12:42:25 PM Pendleton Andrea   American Association of Anatomists Bethesda MD USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  Reversing gears on review articles

NIH previously encouraged publishers to add review articles to journals as a way to sustain our subscription base under the voluntary policy. The revised mandatory public access policy now calls for the submission of review articles to PMC. Journal editors commission review articles based on the scientific expertise of scientists; they are not based on specific research projects supported by NIH research grants.

We request that NIH modify its guidelines to state that its deposit requirement only applies to peer-reviewed manuscripts that report findings of empirical research and does not apply to literature reviews. NIH might consider review articles as ?low-hanging fruit? in regard to possible changes in the public access policy. It is a simple change that the scientific publishing community would appreciate.

Compensation for value added

The research published in our journals is rarely obsolete within a year; it generally has a shelf life well beyond the 12-month public access window. When copyrighted articles are freely available online, their commercial value is significantly eroded. While NIH may pay for the actual research, it is the journal publisher who bears the expense of creating the publication?from peer review to copyediting, layout, production, distribution, and archiving both digitally and in print.

When publishers are no longer able to recoup these costs through subscription revenues (i.e., from the readers), they will have to recoup them at the front end from the authors. We note that the NIH policy allows reimbursement of publication costs if they are ?actual, allowable, and reasonable to advance the objectives of the award.? We ask that NIH be more explicit about what is considered ?allowable? and ?reasonable? and make it very clear to grantees that funds may be used to cover open access fees. In addition, we would like to know how such funds will be identified in a grant and how much NIH has budgeted per year for publication costs.


File Link:  AAA_Public_Access_Submitted_Response_5-30-08.txt
Description:  Letter on behalf of American Association of Anatomists

05/28/2008 at 05:48:50 PM Reichel Mary Ph.D Appalachian State University Boone NC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  The Public Access Policy is an effective move in the right direction, yet changing the embargo from 12 to 6 months would make a crucial impact on health sciences research and discovery. Our campus would not cancel journals as a result of the policy whether a six- or twelve-month embargo is in place. However, a shorter embargo time will help accelerate the dissemination of knowledge, contributing to important scientific and medical findings among partners who do not currently have access to this type of information due to cost restrictions.

04/04/2008 at 02:24:06 PM Reinhard Robert M.A. Member Community Advisory Board, ACTG and HVTN within NIH San Francisco CA USA Patient or Representative of a Public Health Advocacy Organization
Question 1:  NIH can provide overhead and funding support in its grants to allow investigators to use the option many journals provide to subsidize immediate open access publication of specific articles. However, NIH can make this option much more cost effective if it uses its negotiating power to secure reduced rates for funded authors from journals who use this option. The current costs of these options are not based solely on true publishing costs alone; they may include premiums to subsidize other profit interests unrelated to publication, there is no rationale a subsidized payment should pay for the externatlities. This procedure would mitigate concerns of journals, benefit the public and accelerate deposit in pubmed central. Also the policy shouod be revised to require deposit no later than 6 months or as soon as possible rather than the 12 month rule

05/19/2008 at 12:33:39 PM Reiter Allan PhD US DoD, Defense Threat Reduction Agency Ft. Belvoir VA USA Other
Question 1:  Make some arrangements to go back 5-10 years in the peer reviewed literature.

04/04/2008 at 03:36:56 PM Resnick Rachelq MS Abramson Ctr. for Jewish Life/Polisher Research Inst. North Wales PA USA Other
Question 1:  If a publisher provides public access to an article within 12 months of publication on its own website, allow that to be an acceptable form of publication, as long as they also provide a link to the free, full-text from PubMed and PubMed Central. If a publisher should go out of business or transfer management of a journal to another publisher, mandate that the publisher upload all relevant articles into PMC before the changeover.

04/01/2008 at 02:44:18 PM Ritchie Thomas B.S. of Biology Rutgers University New Brunswick NJ USA Other
Question 1:  No. I am happy with the changes.

05/22/2008 at 02:15:09 PM Roberts Richard Ph.D. New England Biolabs Ipswich MA USA Other
Question 1:  12 months is too long to wait. This should be reduced to 6 months as soon as possible and then to 3 months and finally to 0. NIH should engage the publishers so that it is they, and not the PI, who is responsible for deposition into PubMed Central. Funds must be mae available to NIH grantees specifically to cover the costs of this. NIH has sufficient clout that it shoukld be able to negotiate reasonable costs with the publishers to ensure that the published manuscripts can be deposited in PubMed Central. Deposition on a publisher's web site is not satisfactory since we need the literature in a single location where it can be searched or downloaded for local searching. This literature is our heritage and it belongs to the scientists who generated it and the funding agencies that paid for it. There can be no excuse for we scientists (I am a Nobel Laureate and work as Chief Scientific Officer for a small company. I am also chief US editor of an open access journal, Nucleic Acids Research) to have to repay the publishers to read our own work.

04/28/2008 at 07:47:20 PM Roepe Paul PhD Georgetown University Washington DC USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  I don't have a recommendation for alternative implementation, but I do not understand why publications from key scientific societies (such as American Chemical Society) are apparently not participating in automatic deposit, preferring instead to burden investigators. We pay dues to these societies, perform enormous pro bono peer review for their journals, etc. and they cannot work with NIH to find a fast and efficient way to do this automatically ? What gives ? Even more troubling, some journals appear to be charging fees to unknowing or confused investigators (up to a ridiculous one thousand dollars to satisfy pubic posting requirements). That is just disgusting, the community (and NIH) should be responding strongly to such practices.

04/01/2008 at 12:18:33 PM Romans Ehs PhD UT Arlen TX USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  NOW YOU LISTEN TO ME. PUBLIC TAX PAYER MONEY MEANS YOU NEED TO KEEP THE SYSTEM ___OPEN___

05/31/2008 at 11:49:24 AM Ruben George PH.D. Dartmouth College & Editor-chief-Microscopy Research & Technique Lebanon NH USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  Whatever version of the article PubMed Central lands up with the publisher is responsible for producing and maintaining the final published version which authors, for example, will need to cite. ?? Why is PubMed Central using its own article numbering system (PMCIDs) and not the internationally accepted DOI (Digital Object Identifier) system on which the CrossRef linking is based? ?? Why is PubMed Central not giving clear acknowledgement to the original publication and a link to this on the publisher’s site? The statutory language of the mandatory Public Access Policy applies to “all investigators funded by the NIH,” yet does not specify whether the NIH funding is in whole or in part. NIH takes the view that the policy applies to investigators with any NIH intramural research funds or any amount of direct costs funded by NIH, even if the funding is insignificant and supplemented by other public or private sources. ?? What if these other sources oppose the posting of their funded work on PubMed Central? The policy also holds that “Principal investigators and their institutions are responsible for ensuring all terms and conditions of awards are met.” Yet, this includes the submission of articles that arise directly from the investigators’ NIH-funded research even if they did not author or co-author the publication. In fact, NIH-funded investigators and institutions are being held responsible for making sure that these other authors are “aware of and comply with” the NIH policy. How could they possibly be able to comply with this provision? What will the repercussions be for investigators and journals who do not follow the process? Will NIH stipulate that its requirement for the deposit of peer-reviewed manuscripts in PubMed Central only applies when NIH funding represents the sole funding for the scholarly work? Will NIH also modify its guidelines to state that its deposit requirement only applies to peer-reviewed manuscripts that report findings of empirical research and does NOT apply to literature reviews?

04/01/2008 at 02:39:15 PM Rubin Ethel PhD BioFortis Columbia MD USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  I think the final copy of the article is most useful, both for the public and the PI or publisher to post. I do worry about the administrative burden for all PIs, who are already swamped in an ever-increasing regulatory environment. The policy only states that the PI on a grant is ultimately responsible for ensuring the article is submitted. I suspect, like many other admin duties, this too will be delegated to someone else, perhaps rightly so. Suggestions that this become part of an institutions library services might be a solution for overburdened PIs.

05/29/2008 at 05:24:56 PM Ruff Christopher Ph.D. Editor, American Journal of Physical Anthropology Baltimore MD USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  Creating a parallel system for copy editing, proof-reading by authors, and archiving is a waste of taxpayers' money and authors' time. These processes are already carried out by authors and publishers in the course of publishing journal articles. If publishers agree to make publications resulting from NIH-funded research freely available within 12 months of publication, this will achieve the same goals as those specified in the NIH mandate, at a much lower cost to NIH. Allowing complete public access to such archives could be arranged and I'm sure would be preferable to publishers than the proposed policy. If publishers did not agree to these stipulations, then authors could be required to deposit articles on the PMC site. Furthermore, creating a dual manuscript preparation and archiving system will inevitably result in discrepancies between two available versions, leading to confusion over which one is considered the "official" version. It is also not clear why NIH is not including a link in PMC to the original publication website.

05/30/2008 at 02:34:05 PM Russell Ian BSc ALPSP BRISTOL North Somerset UK Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) is the international association for non-profit publishers and those that work with them. ALPSP is the only international association that represents scholarly and professional publishers across all disciplines of academic endeavour. Its broad and diverse membership includes publishers of journals operating on author-side payment models, subscription models and hybrid business models combining these. ALPSP has more than 360 organizational members including more than 40 in the United States. We have members in 36 countries who collectively publish more than 10,000 journals – around half the world’s total - as well as books, databases and other resources. ALPSP’s mission is to play an active part in shaping the future of academic and scholarly communication, and we welcome the opportunity given by the National Institutes of Health to comment on the ‘Revised Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH-Funded Research’ (NOT-OD-08-057) (Revised Policy) by responding to the ‘Request for Information: NIH Public Access Policy’ (NOT-OD-08-060).

This submission will only comment on those questions which we consider relevant to the ALPSP membership.

Many journal publishers, and most of those publishing in the biomedical sciences, make the final ‘version of record’ journal article freely available on the Internet a maximum of 12 months after publication. We believe that it would be highly preferable if NIH linked PubMed and/or PubMed Central to final published journal articles on publishers’ website and adapted PubMed and PubMed Central to allow for full-text searching across the publishers’ websites.

This approach does not constitute a “dark archive” as some have suggested since articles appearing in journals operating a delayed open access publishing model are available freely on the Internet in compliance with the NIH public access requirement. We would suggest that the policy mandating deposit of peer-reviewed manuscripts in PubMed Central should be reserved for only those articles published in journals that do not make content freely available on the publishers website after 12 months or less.

There are numerous advantages to this approach: * It would provide a more comprehensive ‘one-stop-shop’ for searching the biomedical literature which would include vastly more than the 10% of articles that arise from NIH funded research * It would assist with version control and enable readers to access the trustworthy version of record with corrections, links to corrigenda and errata and thus maintain the integrity of the corpus of literature * Journals would be able to determine their own access policies within a 12 month timeframe based upon the requirements of their business models * It would eliminate needless and expensive duplication of the storage, curation and preservation of a large number of research articles

We therefore urge NIH to reconsider this proposal.

We note the confusion that has arisen from the use of the term “journal articles” in the Public Access Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) posted on January 11, 2008 and the continued use of the terms “journal manuscripts” and “journal papers” used in the amended version of the FAQs (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/FAQ.htm) as updated on May 2, 2008. We believe that NIH should be clear and unambiguous in referring to the final peer-reviewed manuscript in order to avoid confusion with the final journal version of record.

We would draw your attention to the NISO / ALPSP project on Journal Article Versions (see http://www.niso.org/workrooms/jav) which will shortly produce a standard nomenclature for versions of journal articles. We urge NIH to utilize these definitions once the standard has been formally announced by NISO.

We note that Congress directed the NIH to ensure copyright agreements and rights were preserved and it seems onerous, unfair and an avoidance of this responsibility to transfer that obligation to researchers. At the very least the NIH should implement procedures during the process of uploading manuscripts to PubMed Central to check that the version of the article uploaded is consistent with copyright law and that institutions and investigators are complying with their obligation to ensure that “any publishing or copyright agreements concerning submitted articles fully comply with this Policy”.

The Revised Policy now calls for the deposit of review articles. Review articles are commissioned by Publishers and Editors and are written based on the scientific expertise of the author; they are not based on the specific research projects supported by NIH grants and we therefore respectfully suggest that review articles should not be subject to the mandatory Revised Policy.


File Link:  ALPSP_Response_to_NIH_RFI.txt
Description:  plain text version of response

05/01/2008 at 04:12:05 PM Ryley James PhD FreePatentsOnline.com Perry Hall MD USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  Consideration needs to be given to retroactive open access for already-published documents, rather than just new documents. Oherwise, complete databases of full-text will never be openly available, severly limiting the use of the available full-text.

The issue here is comprehensiveness: If even a small portion of the full-text data is missing, users must fear missing something during literature searches, and are therefore pushed to use fee-based options rather than free ones.

05/28/2008 at 04:17:55 PM Sacks Susan PhD Joint Policy Committee of the Epidemiology Societies Nutley NJ USA Other
Question 1:  I am the current chairman of the Joint Policy Committee of the Epidemiology Societies. We represent 14 epidemiology organizations and would like to provide comments on this policy. I am writing to request a 6-week extension to provide comments as we only recently were alerted to this webpage and we need to obtain feedback from our individual societies before we can submit a set of comments from the Joint Policy Committee as a whole. Please let me know if it will be possible to have this extension. If so, will this website continue to be active so that I can submit the comments to this website. Thank you very much for your consideration.

04/04/2008 at 05:27:23 AM Salamon Peter PhD San Diego State University San Diego CA USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  No.

04/04/2008 at 11:25:23 AM sanders pat ged na bennington nh USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  no

04/04/2008 at 11:25:28 AM sanders pat ged na bennington nh USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  no

05/12/2008 at 01:33:59 PM Schwartz Elliot   Committee for Economic Development Washington DC United States Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  The Committee for Economic Development is a 65-year old, independent, nonpartisan organization of business and education leaders dedicated to research and outreach to the public and private sectors on major economic and social issues. I am writing with regard to The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy (NOT-OD-05-022).

CED most recently issued a report entitled Harnessing Openness to Transform American Health Care (February 2008). The report (available at http://www.ced.org/docs/report/report_healthcare2007dcc.pdf) made the following recommendations regarding openness, publishing and disclosure of research results: • The explicit policy of the federal government should be to promote the broadest possible access to research results in the healthcare arena, particularly government-supported research. • Those federal agencies supporting research should positively respond to requests for funding to pay for publication/disclosure of sponsored research. • In evaluating applicants for research funding, federal agencies supporting research should recognize the scientific value of database science and scholarly work that may be validated by means other than traditional scholarly publication. • Federal agencies supporting research should require that sponsored researchers disclose potential conflicts of interest in any publications/disclosure of the sponsored research. • Federal agencies supporting research should target efforts to reduce the interval between publication/disclosure of research and its implementation in accepted treatment regimes.

The report took a favorable view of the National Institutes of Health’s leadership on these issues critical to accelerating the pace of research, promoting new discoveries and stimulating innovation.

CED, consistent with these principles, supports the NIH public access policy as articulated. If any changes were to be made, CED would favor a shorter embargo.

05/31/2008 at 01:28:46 PM Serene Joseph Ph.D. American Physical Society College Park Md USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  The American Physical Society (APS) is a nonprofit professional organization representing 46,000 scientists in physics and related disciplines. APS publishes approximately 16,000 peer-reviewed papers per year in nine journals. We have long supported the goal of wide access to the scientific literature through mechanisms consistent with the continuing health of peer-reviewed scientific publishing. For example, we have supported arXiv.org since shortly after it was established, we have no embargoes of any sort, and we allow authors to post our final PDF of their articles on their own websites and on their employers’ websites. We also pioneered tiered-pricing models to enhance the accessibility of our journals to smaller educational institutions.

Nevertheless, we have grave reservations about the announced NIH implementation of the Public Access Policy, because we fear that this implementation runs the risk of unnecessarily damaging the economic viability of scientific-society publishers and the integrity of the scientific literature, while at the same time costing the taxpayers significantly more than is needed to achieve the central goals of the congressional public access mandate.

The announced implementation effectively establishes NIH as a duplicate publisher for an unknown fraction of the literature (all papers not directly submitted by publishers) and provides no compensation to publishers for their significant investment in peer-review, scientific editing, composition, copyediting, and electronic hosting and archiving (for example, APS maintains three geographically distributed, continuously updated mirrors of all its content). Furthermore, we are concerned that the final XML files produced by PMC will not be as accurate as those produced by scientific-society publishers, with close scientific oversight (e.g., APS employs approximately 50 full-time Ph.D. editors).

We believe that NIH should immediately begin serious and substantive consultations with publishers to explore a variety of cost-effective alternatives that show more appreciation for the service to the scientific community provided by nonprofit society publishers, and that avoid producing variant archival copies of the same paper. The latter seems a near-certain result of PMC’s plans to perform independent and duplicative composition and copyediting, at taxpayer expense. For example, it would be completely consistent with the public-access legislation for PMC to simply operate a well-indexed repository of publisher-prepared PDFs of all NIH supported articles, including links to publishers’ websites. Nothing in the legislation requires PMC to host full XML files of articles, let alone to spend public funds on the production of its own XML versions.

APS is particularly concerned by the plans of NIH to provide its archive to other entities, including repositories outside of the United States. We see nothing in the legislation that supports the right of NIH to do this, and we believe that it is in clear violation of our copyright agreement and those of other publishers. We urge NIH to abandon these plans voluntarily and immediately.

We are profoundly committed to the dissemination of scientific knowledge. This is central to the APS mission “to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics.” However, we are equally committed to guaranteeing the accuracy of the public record of the collective scientific literature. We believe that these two objectives are best achieved by nonprofit scientific societies that combine the highest standards of the academy, long-term stability, and the ingenuity and expertise of private enterprise.

04/09/2008 at 10:08:59 AM Shera Christopher PhD Harvard Medical School Boston MA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  NIH should not reformat, repackage, retypeset, or otherwise corrupt pdfs provided by the author or journal. Reformatting wastes time and resources and introduces substantial errors. To maintain the integrity of the science, and the value of the repository, manuscripts should be posted exactly as received from the author or journal.

05/15/2008 at 05:17:53 AM Shields Peter MD Georgeown University Washington DC United States NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  Do not place pre-prints in the depository, but only the final publication. The way it is now, there will be multiple versions of a manuscript in the public domain. The one you require may have errors that do not get corrected until the final proof.

04/01/2008 at 01:58:18 PM Simpson S BS Self Boise ID USA Patient or Representative of a Public Health Advocacy Organization
Question 1:  I have a rare disoorder. I use pubmed and other online resources to learn about my disorder. I am often frustrated by only being able to access the abstract. Accessing a single full article typically costs in excess of $30 (which is ridiculous).

I'm glad to see the NIH making the publications that they sponsor available freely to the public.

05/30/2008 at 01:19:29 PM Sinn Robin MS Sheridan Libraries; Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  It would be useful to have NIH provide some guidelines for authors dealing with online click through copyright agreements.

04/29/2008 at 11:22:32 AM Slater Michael Ph.D. Ohio State University Columbus OH USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  Yes. The April 7 date for all accepted ms. potentially puts investigators in an extremely awkward position, if an article is currently in the review and revision process--which can take over a year and represent many dozens of hours of work in revisions--and the journal at which it is in review does not currently have a copyright policy permitting posting of a public access version of the article. The investigator either must withdraw the article, losing perhaps a year or more in the publication cycle process; continue forward, hoping that the journal will revise their policy by the time publication is scheduled and, if not, violate copyright in order to avoid violating federal regulation. Had the date applied to all ms submitted by April 7 instead of accepted, investigators would have at least had the option of seeking out journals that had already announced compliance mechanisms or revisions to their copyright agreements, avoiding this dilemna. Some provision for cases such as these (under review but not accepted as of 7 April, and evidence of refusal by the publisher to provide copyright release) would be reasonable, it seems to me!

05/29/2008 at 04:49:01 PM Smith Kevin J.D. Duke University Durham NC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  In general Duke researchers have been pleased with the simplicity of the interface provided by PubMed Central for submission of articles. The most difficult and time consuming issue in terms of compliance has been the education needed to help faculty deal with copyright issues and the wide variety of publication agreements with which they are confronted. Although this is a significant opportunity to help faculty adopt more appropriate copyright management strategies in general, much of the stress for researchers could be eliminated if the NIH would take two steps: 1. Solicit and complete participation agreements with as many publishers as possible, including those who publish the “top-name” journals in fields covered by NIH research funding. 2. Maintain communication with those publishers who decline to enter into participation agreements to negotiate the smoothest possible terms of submission. Agreements and policies that are not full participation agreements but that facilitate submission should be communicate on the NIH website, just as the list of participating publishers is now.

Because we believe that there is both an advantage to our researchers and to the general public in having a stable and permanent archive of taxpayer-funded research, we must view the suggestion sometimes heard for a “dark archive” of articles with links to publisher websites as an unacceptable alternative. This suggestion would not achieve the goals articulated by the NIH, nor would it provide the benefits which are the reason for the support of so many institutions of higher education and research. This alternative was wisely rejected by NIH in its initial consideration and should not be reconsidered at this time. Our institution, like many others, has already invested substantial resources in compliance with the policy as now written, and a substantial change, particularly one that would undermine the benefits we see in the policy, would be a serious problem.

04/01/2008 at 06:14:25 PM Snider Marc BS Computer Science citizen Merrimack NH USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  I absolutely concur with the proposal that all researchers supported via public funding be mandated to provide their research results for free public access at the NIH pubmed facility. There is no defensible reason as to why mandatory public access to research subsidized by public funds should be precluded.

I also do much research online using the NIH and pubmed facilities. I, too, have also been frustrated by the requirement to purchase research articles published by third party outfits which profit using this publicly funded research as a means to sell their publications. If the public funds the research then the public should have access to the results.

I suggest the following minor modifications to the proposal. 1) mandatory publication of research data at the time of acceptance for publication. If the subsequently published article has changed for any reason then the later published article should also be entered into the pubmed facility. The original submission (prior to publishing) should then be archived at pubmed, thus allowing access to the later published article from the original pubmed submission and vice versa. Such a mechanism would be very useful, I believe, in terms of later auditing for the purpose of establishing how many articles had been changed between the time of research completion/initial-pubmed-submission and the time of journal publication. Such changes of article content may thus shed light later on any differences between the two articles and help to establish a historical chain of information which may prove useful for several different reasons. The more transparency the better...

In the event an article changes between the time of original pubmed submission (publication acceptance time) then the updated/changed article should be required for submission to pubmed no later than 2 weeks after original article publication (and hopefully even sooner).

05/27/2008 at 01:15:09 PM Soules Aline MA, MSLS, MFA California State University, East Bay Hayward CA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  I am supportive of an embargo period to balance our needs with those of publishers; however, I would prefer that the embargo period be reduced to six (6) months. It would synchronize more effectively with the pace of biomedical research and discovery and with policies in sister countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe generally. We want and need to be competitive with the rest of the world. In addition, author addenda facilitate authors’ retention of their rights while allowing publishers the license to publish.

It would also be helpful if NIH could publish a list of publishers whose publishing agreements with authors provide for deposit with PubMed Central in a way that is consistent with copyright law. I call it a “NIH seal of approval” list!

05/29/2008 at 05:24:46 PM Soules Aline MA, MSLS, MFA California State University, East Bay Hayward CA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  This is an addendum to comments I posted on May 27:

It has come to my attention that there is a proposal that the NIH policy be implemented through a dark archive that links to publishers' web sites. This is not an appropriate alternative. The requirement is for “public” access. There's nothing public about directing the public to sites where it has to pay for information that has already been paid for through public funds. An important goal is to make public the information discovered or created through NIH-funded endeavors.

Another major goal is to provide a permanent, stable archive. This requires that the material be centralized (not scattered among publishers' web sites and in various forms). A central repository ensures that the information will be curated, preserved, and used on a regular basis. As a librarian, I can assure you that a dark archive does not achieve appropriate archiving and preservation needs. NIH has consistently and sensibly rejected this alternative in the past and I urge NIH to continue to reject this idea in favor of promoting the public dissemination of information through the access of PubMed Central.

05/26/2008 at 02:39:35 PM Steele Patricia   Indiana University Libraries Bloomington IN USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  I very much support the NIH Public Access Policy and believe that it is critical to libraries and to the scholars they serve. I believe it is implementable in its present form.

05/30/2008 at 01:13:35 PM Suber Peter Ph.D., J.D. Earlham College, Yale Law School Information Society Project, SPARC Brooksville Maine USA Other Member of the Public
Question 1:  (A) The NIH should reduce the permissible embargo period to from 12 months to six months. Around the world, every other funder of medical research with a public access policy caps the permissible embargo at six months: the Arthritis Research Campaign (UK), British Heart Foundation, Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, European Research Council, Cancer Research UK, Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Health Department, Department of Health (UK), Fund to Promote Scientific Research (Austria), Genome Canada, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Joint Information Systems Committee (UK), and the Wellcome Trust (UK). These agencies recognize that delaying public access to publicly-funded research is a compromise with the public interest, and that delays are more harmful in medicine than in any other field.

If reducing the embargo period quickly or suddenly is politically impossible, then the NIH could reduce it gradually. For example, it could announce that a year from now it will reduce the maximum embargo to six months, giving stakeholders time to prepare. Or it could first reduce it to nine months, then six, and then three, over a period of years with ample notice to all.

The NIH mission is to advance medical research and healthcare, not to protect the revenue of publishers. The current embargo period is much too long and inverts these priorities.

(B) PubMed Central should develop the means to harvest copies of the full-text papers it needs from institutional repositories at universities, if it doesn't already have this capability. Then NIH should allow grantees (optionally) to deposit in their local repository and send PMC the URL. This change should not affect the timing of deposits within PMC, the completeness of the PMC collection, or the ability of the NIH to monitor compliance. But it might make compliance easier for authors, by enlisting local help with the initial deposits. It would also build up institutional repositories nationwide, giving them a critical mass and helping them to change expectations in every discipline.

Conversely, PMC should also allow institutional repositories to harvest copies of full-text papers in PMC. When grantees choose to deposit directly into PMC rather than their institutional repository, this would allow the author's institution to maintain a complete, open-access portfolio of its own research output.

(C) NIH already maintains a list of journals willing to submit articles directly to PMC on behalf of authors, http://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process_journals.htm

It should also maintain a list of journals whose standard copyright transfer agreements are already consistent with the NIH policy, requiring no negotiation or "author addendum" by authors. This list will overlap with the first, but would very likely be larger.

(D) Some subscription-based journals plan to charge NIH-funded authors a fee for the right to comply with the NIH policy. Some "hybrid" journals may force NIH-authors to "choose" the free-access option and pay the accompanying fee. NIH-funded authors needn't publish in those journals, of course, but some may sincerely believe that every other publisher would also charge such a fee and some may feel other pressures to acquiesce. The NIH cannot directly stop journals from charging such fees, but it should look for creative, indirect ways to deter the practice. For example, NIH could list journals engaged in the practice and inform its grantees that this is not the norm and not required by the NIH policy. In addition, it could decide that it would *not* allow grantees to use grant funds to pay publication fees or color charges at journals engaged in the practice. (To use jargon common in the open access movement, the NIH would still allow grantees to use grant funds to pay for gold OA at full OA journals; but it would not allow the use of grant funds to pay for green OA or to pay for gold OA at hybrid journals which force NIH-funded authors to select the fee-based free-access option.)

05/01/2008 at 10:59:25 AM Sweet Douglas PhD VCU Richmond VA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  N/A

05/21/2008 at 05:43:29 PM Tagler John Masters of Library & Information Science Association of American Publishers, Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division New York NY USA Publisher (including Commercial Organizations, Professional Societies and Journal Editors)
Question 1:  Since PubMed Central will compete with publishers’ own websites as more PMC content overlaps with content on publishers’ sites, how will NIH maintain the primacy of the publishers’ websites and ensure that the manuscript on PMC does not displace or act as a substitute for the final published journal article (i.e., the authoritative version of record, which resides on a publisher’s site)? Will NIH work with publishers to ensure that readers know and are directed to where the final published versions can be obtained?

04/28/2008 at 04:41:40 PM Taylor Russell PhD Johns Hopkins University Baltimore Md USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  The policy as proposed seems extremely burdensome on investigators.

It is also ambiguous. You seem to equate "peer reviewed publication" with "journal article". This is wrong, since in some fields funded by NIH peer-reviewed conferences have equal or higher prestige and impact. If you mean "journal", say "journal". IF you mean something else, you need to say that.

There is often no feasible way for an investigator to force compliance with a journal that does not routinely (and almost exclusively) publish NIH-funded research. First off, the relevant person to contact is not routinely and easily available. Second, the delay involved may cause publication deadlines to be missed. The situation with conferences is even worse.

The net effect is likely to be to DETER publication, thus delaying or even preventing dissemination of NIH-funded research results.

05/13/2008 at 02:39:02 PM Teschner Craig MBA, BSMT Genetic Therapeutics International South Grafton MA USA Patient or Representative of a Public Health Advocacy Organization
Question 1:  Recommedations would include requiring grantees to publish results of their investigations in the public access forum: The Public Access Policy which has access to published results of NIH/NCI funded research and clinical trials in through the PubMedCentral.

04/24/2008 at 07:45:43 PM Thiagarajan Balasubramanian Ph.D Annamalai University Annamalainagar Tamil Nadu India Other
Question 1:  No

05/30/2008 at 09:35:29 AM Till Jim PhD University of Toronto Toronto ON Canada Other
Question 1:  I hope that NIH will work toward reducing the maximum embargo period from 12 months to 6 months, which would be more in harmony with other funding agencies in Canada and the UK.

05/30/2008 at 02:46:02 PM Todaro Julie D.L.S. Association of College and Research Libraries Chicago IL USA Other
Question 1:  The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), represents more than 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL has long supported the National Institutes of Health’s Public Access Policy, believing that ensuring public access to the fruits of publicly-funded research is a logical, feasible, and widely beneficial goal. We appreciate NIH’s continued, consistent willingness to engage with stakeholders. These comments supplement the ones we submitted this past March.

ACRL reiterates its support for the policy as it stands. Public access to publicly funded biomedical research will advance research and education at the nation's colleges and universities, helping undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and researchers remain competitive with their peers elsewhere in the world. Research in the biomedical sciences advances rapidly, and 12 months, as stipulated in the current policy, is the longest period for which this research should be embargoed if the benefits of public access for education and research are to be realized and our colleges and universities remain globally competitive.

Evidence continues to build that the cost of validating, packaging, and disseminating research results can be met through a variety of business models that are consistent with public access. Public access to selected articles is not the primary determinant for most libraries in making subscription decisions -- relevance, quality, and affordable pricing are the key factors. Indeed, a shorter embargo period (6 months) would bring US policy into greater alignment with policies already in place in Canada, the UK, and the European Union, and would better reflect the rapid pace of research in the biomedical fields. We encourage the NIH to consider shortening the embargo period as the U.S. and other countries gain experience with public-access science.

Moreover, we understand that the current policy operates within and in accordance with U.S. copyright law and international copyright conventions, and is consistent with the authors' rights in their original manuscripts. Implementation of this policy on member campuses is providing an important opportunity for those communities to discuss intellectual property law and compliance. ACRL has supported member education in this area by, for example, co-hosting (with ARL and SPARC) a special one-hour Webcast for librarians called “Understanding Author Rights.”

Academic and research libraries across the country have already invested significant time in helping their campuses prepare for and implement the new policy, through outreach, copyright education, technical support, and other means. ACRL, guided in part by its Scholarly Communication Committee, will continue to assist its members with implementation of the policy by, for example, documenting and sharing best practices, promulgating model publication agreements, and providing education about the rapidly changing scholarly publishing environment in which this policy fits. The ARL-ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication and a new shorter workshop on scholarly communication, currently in development, both cover the NIH policy.

Alternative arrangements, such as links to publishers' web sites, would not serve the public well or achieve the NIH goal of assuring a permanent, stable public archive of the research it has funded. Over the long term, as publishers and journals change ownership, links would inevitably break and more work would be required of NIH staff to maintain the links than would be needed to maintain a central repository. Advanced researchers will still rely on the published record for citation and other purposes. NIH has wisely rejected the model of a dark archive in the past, and should continue to do so.

05/29/2008 at 02:32:50 PM Van Kampen Doris EdD Saint Leo University New Port Richey FL USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  To provide a permanent, stable archive of NIH's research, including all grant funded entities it is critical that NIH be in charge of and accountable to the tax payer and to the research community. Vendors are bought out; journals go under; links are ephemeral. If the NIH is reponsible for all aspects of the open archives there will be a permanent record available. If this is left to the entrepreneurs, the vendors, and the individual researchers, documents will go missing, vendors will be bought out or go under, and researchers will eventually turn their interests to other topics or leave this earth, with the record of their research going into the limbo realm of orphan works, or worse yet, completely disappearing. ERIC was a commercial product, funded in part by tax payer dollars; that in and of itself is a reminder as to what happens when the only record is in the hands of the commercial sector. Is that what we want to have happen to our research tax dollars, and to research information which may be critical to our understanding of cancer research, Parkinson's research, or other medical research???

A dark archive is no archive; it is a temporary measure which will eventually be scuttled. NIH needs to mandate an open archive, with open access.

D Van Kampen

05/22/2008 at 10:07:06 AM Van Kampen Doris Ed.D Saint Leo University New Port Richey FL USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  No, I believe that NIH should mandate that publications funded by our tax dollars be available to everyone, not a select few. Lowering the embargo to 6 months would also allow information to be more quickly disseminated; patients, other researchers and physicians would be greatly helped by this. Publishers will not lose money by the authors providing critical information about current research; in fact, I believe that some journals may actually see their readership increase from the publicity brought by bloggers, news reporting agencies and others who read the articles and then discuss where the article and other information about this research can be found - which, of course, would be in the journal and its archives!

05/12/2008 at 10:50:53 AM Van Orsdel Lee MLS Grand Valley State University Grand Rapids MI USA Other
Question 1:  Cut the embargo to 6 months. Timing is everything in health and related research, and 12 months is too long to let new information remain inaccessible for those who need it and cannot afford to purchase it. Particulary when we, the taxpayers, have already paid for it once (salaries and laboratories of researchers in state-supported schools) or twice (subscriptions paid by the same institutions). Publishers worry that this policy will threaten their livelihoods, but universities are not going to cancel critical research journals with a 6 month embargo. Faculty would not stand for it.

05/14/2008 at 03:45:25 PM Vinson Daniel MD University of Missouri Columbia MO USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  Require only the abstract. In CRISP, link all publications to the grant that funded the work.

04/03/2008 at 02:32:40 PM Watson Cheryl PhD University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston TX USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  I think that all withholding of government-supported published information from the public is unacceptable. This puts up unnecessary roadblocks of many kinds to every scientist and member of the public who would like to make use of this information. By having delayed revealing of the published information after several months to a year, you are creating an extra burden on scientists and their staff to manage this process. This is a lot extra work for something that is completely unnecessary.

05/29/2008 at 06:29:12 PM Watson Linda MLS Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries Seattle WA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  I submit these comments on behalf of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL), an organization of library directors of the 142 accredited and American and Canadian medical schools that belong to the Association of American Medical Colleges. AAHSL expresses its deep appreciation for the efforts that NIH is taking to ensure an effective implementation of the updated Public Access Policy (NOT-OD-08-033) and its continued willingness to engage all stakeholders in this process. We are optimistic that this policy will speed the pace of discovery by expanding access to research findings supported with federal tax dollars in order to better advance science and improve health. AAHSL is a strong supporter of the NIH Public Access Policy.

Our member libraries lend strong support to their institutions’ efforts to comply with the policy. We have been recognized as leaders on our campuses in addressing policy issues related to author’s rights. We have worked to educate our faculty about the need to retain rights when signing publication agreements with publishers. We have encouraged our faculty to retain rights to use their work in teaching, for posting on their personal websites, or depositing to our institutional or subject repositories. This new public access policy that affects so many of our researchers directs increased attention to the issue of author rights, an issue of high importance to the advancement of scholarship.

During the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting in May an overflow audience attended a session on the public access policy with participation from staff at NLM. It is clear there are many unanswered questions for both libraries and authors. Of particular concern are issues around deposit requirements, copyright and version control. For the latter, there are questions about which copy authors cite and how to address significant editorial changes after the author’s final manuscript is submitted.

To date our member libraries have limited experience upon which to base comments regarding the policy and its implementation. To assist authors our members have developed outstanding training materials and guides that supplement the material supplied by NIH. Additionally, the policy has offered a valuable opportunity for members to collaborate across the campus involving libraries, faculty and research offices.

We urge that NIH work with publishers and institutions to develop a consistent and streamlined procedure for deposit that addresses rights questions and other implementation issues, and which can be used by all NIH-funded PIs without reference to the specific policies and practices of individual journals and publishers. AAHSL would be glad to work with NIH and interested peer institutions to develop and implement this procedure. We also suggest NIH develop a means to coordinate manuscript deposit between PMC and institutional repositories.

05/30/2008 at 05:49:30 PM White Patrick M.A. Association of American Universities Washington DC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 1:  The Association of American Universities (AAU) is an association that includes 60 leading public and private U.S. research institutions. AAU focuses on issues important to research intensive universities, such as funding for research and scholarship, science policy issues, and graduate education. The goals of university research are the discovery, creation and dissemination of new knowledge for the benefit of society. Scholarly publishing is one of the major means of dissemination of new knowledge, and, accordingly, AAU also focuses on scholarly communication and related intellectual property issues.

AAU, on behalf of its member university presidents and chancellors, has repeatedly endorsed NIH’s efforts to increase public access to the results of NIH-funded research through the implementation of its Public Access Policy. Most recently, as the FY08 House Labor/HHS Appropriations Act was about to be debated on the House floor last summer, AAU President Robert M. Berdahl wrote to Subcommittee Chairman David Obey endorsing the Section 217 language that prompted NIH’s new guidelines. We welcome this additional opportunity to offer our support for the appropriations language and NIH’s progress in implementing it. Indeed, NIH’s effort to assure that everyone who has a view is heard has been much appreciated in the research university community.

Our member institutions have responded to NIH by developing policies and procedures to alert, educate and assist faculty in complying with the new requirements. Generally speaking, our administrators appreciate the effort that NIH has put into the complex exercise of developing and communicating the new requirements.

04/03/2008 at 04:37:20 PM Williamson Peter MD/PhD Univ IL at Chicago Chicago IL USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 1:  The stated policy will serve to transfer costs from university library budgets to the investigator. The NIH will need to reimburse investigators for this increased costs, either thorough commensorate reductions in indirect costs or by direct funding of publication lines in budgets.

Total Comments = 148

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