RFI Comments Results
Public Access Request for Information (RFI)
As of 09/24/2017 at 08:46:49
Total Comments = 123

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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
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 4:  Columbia University expresses its support for the NIH Public Access Policy, and most experiences at Columbia with implementation have been favorable. Because of the many comments submitted to NIH from other interested parties, we would like to emphasize one particular point: We have found that the policy has yielded some unexpected and important benefits, in addition to the intended consequences of the policy for the public interest.

First, inside the university, implementation of the policy has created an opportunity for several offices and many scientists to work together to address an important development in the law and to devise new policies and procedures that may ultimately increase accessibility of research results. The effort has been an important occasion to review existing positions on related matters and to share ideas within the university on critical issues related to research, publishing, and funding.

Most notably, implementation at Columbia has involved a cooperative interaction among many diverse offices, such as the University Library, the Office of Research Administration, the Office of Research Compliance and Training, the Office of General Counsel, and the Copyright Advisory Office, as well as a many research programs and academic disciplines. One outcome of the process has been a website specifically developed to guide faculty members and others seeking to comply with the NIH policy (http://scholcomm.columbia.edu/nih-public-access-policy/). The website includes explanations of the law and tools and documents for compliance.

Second, we are seeing numerous examples of publishers revising their policies and often implementing standards that are supportive of the public interest beyond the requirements of the law. Scientists at Columbia have appreciated those publishers that have offered to undertake the submission procedures, and those publishers that have chosen to make their works available in final form or on an earlier schedule.

These unexpected benefits of the NIH policy underscore the policy’s fundamental importance to the creation and dissemination of research results. The NIH policy is much more than legal mechanics; it is proving to be an invaluable motivation for universities, scientists, government agencies, and publishers to reevaluate their polices and to implement standards that can more effectively reflect the public interest and the needs of diverse stakeholders. Thank you for this opportunity to submit comments.

05/31/2008 at 03:01:06 PM Newcomb Douglas Master of Science Special Libraries Association Alexandria VA USA Other
Question 4:  On a note of concern, SLA is 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. SLA strongly opposes this proposal as it would NOT achieve a major goal of the NIH, which is to provide a permanent, stable archive of its research. To effectively curate a database, and for the quality of material it contains to be 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, one which the NIH has consistently and wisely rejected.

05/31/2008 at 02:56:21 PM Luce Richard MA Emory University Atlanta GA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  Emory University appreciates the opportunity to express its support for the NIH Public Access Policy. The implementation of this policy on our campus has included ensuring faculty and researcher awareness through a broadcast memo, websites, information sessions and newsletters. The Libraries and the Office of Research continue to serve as resources for questions and to collaborate on incorporating compliance with the policy into training programs and information sessions for NIH grant recipients. Implementation of the Public Access Policy has also provided an opportunity for faculty and researchers to more fully understand their rights as copyright owners as well as their obligations under this policy. A greater understanding of copyright as a bundle of rights and the implications of following the traditional model of transferring ALL of their rights under copyright to publishers has provided an opportunity for faculty and researchers to more thoughtfully consider what rights they want and need to retain when publishing. Although authors must take additional steps when publishing their research to ensure compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy, the availability and accessibility of their research in PubMed is appealing to some faculty members since this is their primary search tool (one faculty member asked how he could get all of his previously published articles deposited in PubMed). The accessibility in PubMed of articles by members of the Emory community is congruent with Emory’s vision of working for positive transformation by making discoveries that benefit Emory, Atlanta, and the world. With continued collaboration, the goal of the NIH Public Access Policy to ensure that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research is both attainable and beneficial to our society.


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

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 4:  At the most recent World Health Organization meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, the policy of promoting access to publicly-funded research through submission of final, peer-reviewed manuscripts to an open access database was adopted. However, the policy recommendation is to strongly encourage and not to make submission mandatory. Given that access to publicly-funded research is becoming the global norm, the NIH has an opportunity to establish the gold standard by maintaining a mandatory and effective system in place.

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 4:  I am a user of the material available on the NIH sites, including PubChem, and PubMed. The volume of information is now so great that machines are essential to use it properly. I believe it is essential for the NIH to enable text/data-mining of its information if it is to recoup the maximum value of its research investment.

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 4:  The cutting-edge research that the many societies publish is rarely obsolete within a year, and may have a shelf life of five to ten years. It is imperative that adequate financial compensation be offered by NIH to offset the loss of income that publishers will experience resulting from all accepted, peer-reviewed manuscripts funded by NIH being made publicly available within such a short period of time. What latitude will NIH have in negotiating terms and conditions directly with publishers and other rightsholders who might wish to undertake direct licensing arrangements with NIH that would enable the deposit of copyrighted works on behalf of authors? Specifically, will NIH be empowered to negotiate such licensing terms, including payment, on a publisher-by-publisher basis, as certain non-government funding agencies have done? The policy provides for publisher deposit of final published articles on behalf of authors, and includes allowance for the use of grant funds in the payment of publication fees levied on NIH-funded authors. How will such funds be identified in the grant and what has NIH budgeted per year for such costs over the next five years?

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 4:  I greatly appreciate NIH's willingness, which now extends over several years, to consider comments from all parties concerned about the public access policy. The policy has now been vetted in numerous ways in numerous venues; everyone has had ample opportunity to comment. NIH's implementation plan follows the language of the statute carefully and it is fully in compliance with copyright law. The law is a well-thought out compromise that is appropriate at this juncture. The twelve-month embargo clearly protects publishers interests while ensuring eventual access to the results of all NIH-funded research. I congratulate NIH on the implementation of the policy and look forward to seeing data that will document its success.

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 4:  The embargo (of up to one year) should be abolihed and you should insist on immediate open access. Also, the US Government should pass a legislation to the effect that would make it illegal for journal publishers to forbid authors from placing the full text of their papers in an open access repository such as PubMed central or institutional repositories.

05/30/2008 at 11:55:38 PM Bitkower Jay MS Actoin to Cure Kidney Cancer New York NY USA Patient or Representative of a Public Health Advocacy Organization
Question 4:  I recommend that researchers deposit their articles to the NIH within 6 months of publication. As a cancer advocacy organization, we advise cancer survivors as to the trial results of latest therapies and other information relevant to the survival issues of cancer patients and caregivers. Currency of the information can be crucial to one making critical helath care decisions. For us to subscribe to several journals or evenhave to pay $30-80 for each individual article would be prohibitive. The 6-month timeframe is fair to the journals because the vast amount of their subscriptions comes from libraries, which would retain their subscriptions in any case. Therefore, the journals would lose little revenue, but the cancer community would greatly benefit fromthis change of 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 4:  We observe that the NIH Public Access Policy is consistent with the Copyright Law Title 17 U.S. Code in which the authors who originate the work in tangible fixed medium claim the copyright and can license the work's use or transfer the copyright as suits their purpose. The Copyright Law does not support one business model over another.

Also, Caltech has no intention of canceling journal subscriptions due to the NIH policy. However, like all organizations, it must operate within a budget. Regrettably, it does occur that some publisher prices exceed our ability to pay. Therein rests the source of any journal cancellations, not public access mandates. Therefore the limits on an embargo could easily be shortened to 6 months without changing the decision-making process we undertake.

University based research is fundamentally driven by the desire for public benefit. Caltech welcomes the leadership of the NIH in creating change and dialog so that publicly funded research can realize the full potential made possible by the global network.

05/30/2008 at 07:54:30 PM Boney Evans Ph. D. Candidate Caltech Graduate Student Council Pasadena CA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  The Caltech Graduate Student Council (with myself as chair) is a strong advocate of this policy, views the NIH as particularly progressive in this respect, and would go so far as to recommend a similar system to the NSF and other government funding agencies. At our meeting on June 5 we will be considering a resolution urging Caltech to take action along these lines, and are actively seeking alliances with other graduate student councils to encourage similar measures at universities nation-wide.

We think that journals should not have the sole right to reproduction of our work, and that maintenance of this copyright is fundamental to our careers in science. From a political standpoint, we think that no government organization should provide support for research that is not accessible to the public for free through a service like this.

As future researchers having spent the majority of our academic lives with the aid of the internet, we recognize that a change to open-access is coming. In previous generations, part of the service provided by journals was dissemination of knowledge, and maintenance of copyright was necessary to this service. In the age of the internet, this is an already obsoleted role, as a simple pub-med search will show. We are routinely surprised that publishing involves a transfer of copyright, and we no longer accept this as a necessity of the dissemination of information.

To the creators of the NIH Public Access Policy: Please stand by your change. Complaints about being unable to cope with the "huge inconveniences" imposed by the plan are overstated, and complying with additional requirements by funding agencies is part of the job as far as we are concerned. We look forward to putting our papers in a Caltech repository in the not-too-distant future, and, those of us supported by NIH grants jump at the chance to put them here.

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 4:  UC continues to be deeply concerned about a significant and fundamental structural issue: the current policy does little to address underlying complexities associated with the loosely-coupled roles of authors, Principal Investigators, institutions, and publishers. This situation gives rise to several problems that the University has experienced in the early days of implementation of the policy. For example, publishers are under no obligation to assist, or even permit, authors to retain the rights needed to deposit their manuscripts in PMC in compliance with the policy, and the authors' institutions generally have neither the legal standing nor the means to intervene. The ambiguity about rights is amplified by the fact that publishers have a variety of practices that relate to NIH compliance: some automatically deposit either the final published article or the author's final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC, others have publication agreements that permit the authors to deposit, others authorize compliance only through the mechanism of an optional "author pays" publication agreement, yet others provide unrestricted open access to all their publications, and so on. The requirement to track the details of this complex environment, to respond correctly for each NIH-sponsored publication, and to deal with the situations where the necessary rights are unavailable, or only available for a fee, gives rise to most of the implementation problems UC has experienced to date and imposes a substantial administrative burden on the NIH, on grantee institutions, and on NIH-supported researchers. We note further that confusion on this point is likely to have its greatest effect on younger researchers who may be disproportionately disadvantaged when the most prestigious publisher in their field does not comply with the Policy, and that the unresolved ambiguities may lead more publishers to offer "author pays" models as a means to comply with the policy, unnecessarily diluting the funding available to directly support research and forcing authors to confront yet another difficulty when publication occurs after the award period.

UC therefore strongly recommends that NIH address this problem by establishing a systematic program, working with publishers and institutions, to define a single, simple model that facilitates and supports deposit of NIH-sponsored works in PMC. The submission of Anthony De Crappeo, on behalf of the Council on Governmental Relations, on May 28, 2008, expresses concerns similar to those of UC and reaches a similar conclusion. The University of California has extensive relationships with most major biomedical publishers, both as a purchaser of journal publications, and, through its faculty, as a supplier of the work that they publish. UC is willing to work with NIH and like-minded peer institutions to plan and implement such a program.


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 06:37:36 PM McGraw Kate MA, MLS University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library Chapel Hill NC USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  Based on a recent experience working with a student, I am concerned about the difficulty students (and perhaps some more advanced authors) will have in distinguishing the different kinds of articles available in PubMed Central. Link icons in PubMed send users to “Free Author Manuscript in PubMed Central” and “Free Full Text Article in PubMed Central”. The link icons for both of these options look very similar. In addition, the user following these link icons goes to articles with very similar formatting and coloring.

A student preparing a published work such as a masters’ paper, a doctoral thesis or a journal article should read and cite the final edited paper whenever possible. In order for students (and other researchers) to distinguish the author manuscripts from the final articles in PubMed Central, they need to look very different. The information on the author manuscript that a final edited version is available elsewhere needs to be made much more prominent (perhaps enclosed in a box.) The appearance of the author manuscripts should be quite distinctive from the final articles in PubMed Central (perhaps with a different color header.) It would also be helpful to add information about how to cite an author manuscript as an author manuscript on both the web version and the PDF version of the author manuscript.

Look at the following two citations in PubMed, and the two articles in PubMed Central to see how difficult it is to distinguish between final articles and author manuscripts:

Cruz GD, Salazar CR, Morse DE. Oral and pharyngeal cancer incidence and mortality among Hispanics, 1996-2002:the need for ethnoregional studies in cancer research. Am J Public Health. 2006 Dec;96(12):2194-200. Epub 2006 Oct 31. PMID: 17077408 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Ramirez A, Farmer GC, Grant D, Papachristou T. Disability and preventive cancer screening: results from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey. Am J Public Health. 2005 Nov;95(11):2057-64. Epub 2005 Sep 29. PMID: 16195509 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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 4:  Thank you for the additional opportunity to comment on implementation of NIH’s Public Access Policy.

05/30/2008 at 05:46:18 PM Duranceau Ellen MLS Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge MA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  Some have called for NIH to offer links to journal articles at publishers’ websites, supporting only a dark archive. At MIT, we believe this method would not result in a reliable, permanent archive or in stable open access to NIH’s publicly funded research. Frequent shifts that occur among publishers, journal titles, and interfaces would make it extremely labor-intensive to offer consistent access through a list of links. The result is likely to be many broken links, with attendant barriers to access. In addition, preservation is more difficult to manage well when an archive is not actively used. These problems, along with the loss of a simple, direct access model, would undermine the concept of the archive.

05/30/2008 at 05:26:26 PM Adler Allan   Association of American Publishers Washington DC USA Other
Question 4:  Yes, we are submitting two documents for the RFI record in a timely manner via email to PublicAccessComments@NIH.gov, as directed by Neil M. Thakur, Special Assistant to the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, in a May 29-30 email exchange with James F. Segroves of the law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP, based on Mr. Thakur’s confirmation that the PDF format used for those documents is not suitable for posting to NIH through this submission template. Unfortunately, the transformation of these documents to a "txt" format could not be achieved in a practical manner.

The two documents submitted for the RFI record are, respectively:

A letter addressed to me by Jon A. Baumgarten of Proskauer Rose LLP, dated May 30, 2008, in response to my request for an analysis of the relationship between the NIH Final Policy on Public Access and certain aspects of U.S. and international copyright law; and,

A letter addressed to Dr. Elias Zerhouni by the Chair and Vice Chair of the Executive Council of the Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers, dated March 17, 2008, which originally was timely submitted to NIH in response to its request for comments on the implementation of the NIH Public Access Policy pursuant to NOT-OD-08-057 (March 7, 2008).

Both of these documents raise important issues regarding compliance with the statutory proviso that Congress included in Division G, Title II, Section 218 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161) to make sure that “the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.”

We appreciate the opportunity to provide these additional materials to NIH and thank you for ensuring that they will also become part of the record in response to the RFI.

05/30/2008 at 05:13:17 PM Peccei Roberto PhD UCLA Los Angeles CA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  We are writing in response to the request for information about the NIH Public Access Policy (NOT-OD-05-022). As one of the nation's leading public research universities, UCLA takes very seriously its responsibility to serve the people of Southern California, the U.S., and the world through its mission of education, research, and service. An integral part of that mission is the dissemination of scholarly information as broadly and freely as possible, which is essential to furthering scientific discoveries, creating innovative solutions to pressing problems, and improving the lives and well-being of individuals and of society.

To ensure NIH-funded researchers' awareness of and compliance with the public access policy, staff from the Office of Intellectual Property – Industry Sponsored Research, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and the UCLA Library have collaborated on designing a multi-pronged approach involving both education and assistance. This coordinated effort targeted at faculty, librarians, and staff aims to inform, educate, and assist researchers and to support the broadest possible dissemination of their work. Staff from all three of these organizations participated in a webinar organized by the University of California Office of the President. At UCLA, the Library has taken the lead in providing individual assistance to authors who have questions about the submission process.

We support the NIH Public Access Policy as a very strong step taken toward ensuring that the results of publicly funded research are widely disseminated and available in a permanent, stable archive, though we are aware that some problems must still be overcome. The submission process must be simplified, by persuading all publishers either to join those who submit papers to PubMed on behalf of their authors or to permit authors to deposit papers without additional charges or difficult contract negotiations. In addition, a clearer explanation is needed to clarify the difference between the PubMed Central identification number and the PubMed identification number and about whether either can be used in submitting the paper to PubMed Central.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Roberto Peccei UCLA Vice Chancellor for Research

Kathryn Atchison UCLA Vice Provost of Intellectual Property and Industrial Relations; Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Gary E. Strong UCLA University Librarian

05/30/2008 at 05:10:29 PM Israel Beth   Arizona State University Tempe Arizona USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  These comments were prepared by Beth H. Israel, Associate Vice President for Research Administration and Sherrie Schmidt, University Librarian in consultation with ASU faculty members.


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

05/30/2008 at 04:46:29 PM Boyle Jeanne MLS Rutgers University Libraries New Brunswick NJ USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  The Rutgers University Libraries appreciate the intention of Congress and the NIH to ensure that the results of publicly funded research be made available to the public. This goal is close to our hearts as the largest public research university in New Jersey, one of the states whose citizens contribute more in taxes to the federal budget than they receive in federal contributions.

We require that submission to our institutional repository include actual content -- not links -- because that is the function of the repository. By analogy, NIH/PMC should have the same requirement. Mere citations with links to the actual content on the publisher’s website, or a “dark archive,” will not fulfill the purpose of the policy. Furthermore, it assigns part of the responsibility for access to publicly-funded research to a private entity. Additionally, to further the wide availability of this valuable content, we urge development of methods of interoperability for exchange of content between PMC and institutional repositories.

These comments are submitted on behalf of the Rutgers University Libraries by Rhonda Marker, Jim Neissen, and Jeanne Boyle.

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 4:  The University of Oregon Libraries are very enthusiastic supporters of the NIH Public Access Policy as currently implemented. We have found that implementation costs were low, that short-term side benefits were high, and that long term there is significant enthusiasm among our faculty for the larger public access goals. We have also been very appreciative of NIH willingness to engage all stakeholders, both through public comments such as this and through responses to questions and concerns posted to the NIH website; we have received very rapid and informative responses to questions we have posed.

The University of Oregon has invested significant resources in implementing the Public Access Policy. The implementation brought together stakeholders from across campus who do not normally interact, including our library, office of technology transfer, research and sponsored activities, research institutes, and most importantly our research faculty. It has been part of, and a driving force behind, a library initiative to create a new department of “Scholarly Communications and Instructional Support.” We have begun to build a better database of faculty publications, organized training sessions for librarians and research faculty, developed template copyright transfer addenda that retain the rights necessary to comply with the Public Access mandate, and are developing instructional materials for faculty. The mandate was also the major focus of a UO Faculty Senate subcommittee on authors’ rights.

The policy has been particularly beneficial in encouraging research faculty to engage in thinking critically about scholarly communications, copyright, and authors’ rights. We note that the public law required implementation consistent with copyright law. We feel that the policy has achieved that goal admirably, simply by forcing faculty members to become more aware of their rights and responsibilities under the law. We even suspect that it is increasing compliance with copyright law among faculty who aren’t directly affected by the policy since it has raised awareness by faculty who had engaged in uses of the works they originally authored that were arguably in violation of the copyright they transferred to the publisher.

We are aware that some publishers have expressed concern about the Public Access policy, and believe that concern is misguided. We see no evidence that public access would undermine commercial publishers. Quite to the contrary, the citations to commercial publishers that appear in PubMed Central are free advertising for those publishers, who continue to maintain the copy of record for the published works and through an embargo period continue to have a safeguarded period in which they are providing exclusive access to the information. The evidence is accumulating that providing open access through a repository like PubMed Central increases the visibility and impact of a paper and hence the prestige of the journal in which it is published. By increasing the citation rate and hence the impact factor of the journal, deposit in Pub Med Central increases the probability that our library will continue to subscribe to the journal. Our initial perceptions as a library are that the Public Access Policy is having no impact on journal subscriptions, though we hypothesize a positive impact (increased investment in highly visible journals) in the future.

Interestingly, it appears that the implementation of Pub Med Central has also increased the willingness of our faculty to accept embargo periods for their publications, a common request from commercial publishers. In February of this year our faculty Senate passed a resolution encouraging faculty members to use an author’s addendum to insure that they would retain the rights they needed to their work when they transferred copyright. The general consensus at the time was that the SPARC “Access-Reuse” addendum was most appropriate. Largely in response to the Public Access Policy, our Senate modified its recommendation, and in May recommended that faculty members use the “delayed access” addendum that mirrors the Public Access Policy in granting publishers an embargo period.

As we look ahead to evolution of the policy, we are concerned that some have called for an alternative to the Public Access Policy in which NIH would create a dark archive. Such an archive would not be maintainable; if a database like this is not used regularly it will not be effectively maintained and preserved. It would not increase the visibility of the research, and hence would not accomplish one of the important benefits of the current Public Access Policy – accelerating access and hence the pace of research and new discoveries. In addition, a dark archive would fail to meet the crucial public policy goal of providing easy public access to medical research by the ordinary citizens whose tax dollars fund that research.

For the typical researcher, navigating the complexity of copyright law is the hardest part of complying with the Public Access Mandate. Compliance is made much easier by the large list of journals with whom NIH has negotiated agreements to handle deposit on behalf of the author; this list should be expanded. In addition, it would be very helpful if NIH were to negotiate with other journals agreements that granted authors the right to deposit their author’s final version, and then publicized that list as well.

Another change to the current policy that would be desirable would be a shortened maximum embargo period, perhaps to 6 months. The NIH embargo period is likely to become a standard for other uses of academic works, and a standard period that has broad consensus is particularly desirable. Many of our faculty prefer no embargo period, but could be comfortable with a 6 month period, which is also consistent with the widely used Science Commons delayed access author’s addendum.

Also, it would be very desirable to improve notification of the availability of items in PubMed Central. It should be easy for an university office of research to subscribe to an RSS feed and receive alerts for all new items deposited from their institution, and easy to coordinate PubMed Central with other repositories, including support for automated transfers using OAI-PMH. To aid monitoring of compliance as well as to increase visibility, NIH electronic forms should be modified to include required fields for PMCID as appropriate in citations. It would also be very desirable for the major bibliographical standards such as APA Format and Science format to mandate the inclusion of a PMCID in references if one exists.

The goal of a research university such as the University of Oregon is primarily the creation and conveyance of knowledge. As a public university, we have a particularly strong duty to provide that service for the general public. The Public Access Policy furthers that mission.

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 4:  See our letter under "Question 1".

05/30/2008 at 02:41:48 PM Giesecke Joan Doctorate University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln Nebraska USA Other
Question 4:  This policy is helping to make NIH funded resaerch more readily available. It is not impacting our decisions on which journals to purchase. It has not created a work load problem as we incorporated the requirement into already established campus procedures.

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 4:  ALPSP supports the principle of public access to scientific literature but believes that the aims of the NIH public access policy are best met by NIH consulting and working in conjunction with all relevant stakeholders, including publishers, on an ongoing basis and in a robust and meaningful manner.

We believe that by implementing the Revised Policy on April 7, 2008 - before completing a thorough consultation - the approach taken by NIH regarding the Revised Policy does not adhere to the Administrative Procedure Act. We also note the short timescales between the announcement on March 7, 2008 of a public meeting regarding the Revised Policy, the meeting taking place on March 20, 2008 and the Revised Policy coming into effect on April 7, 2008.

We therefore respectfully request that the NIH suspend the Revised Policy and undertake a formal rulemaking according to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. A Rulemaking would allow all interested stakeholders the opportunity to comment with adequate deadlines and offer a formal procedure via which the NIH could address the issues raised.

In addition, we are aware of calls for the NIH to reduce the upper limit of the Revised Policy’s embargo period from 12 months to six months or less. Research (see for example Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Co-existence or Competition? (Beckett and Inger 2007; www.publishingresearch.net/documents/Self-archiving_summary2.pdf) and ALPSP Survey of Librarians on Factors in Journal Cancellation (Ware 2006; www.alpsp.org)) has indicated that the upper limit of 12 months is the minimum required for publishers of biomedical journals supported by subscription revenues to have a chance of recovering their costs. We therefore urge NIH to commit retaining the upper limit at 12 months and allow journals to choose a shorter embargo period if it is compatible with their business model.


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

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 4:  Although AIP disapproves the NIH implementation of the NIH Public Access Policy, it is so important that the accurate record of scientific progress not be distorted by the appearance of multiple and differing versions of the purported final manuscript that AIP is prepared to bear the full cost involved in handling the deposit of the final published version of the article on behalf of the author. AIP is committed to staying engaged to ensure that improvements are made in the NIH implementation process.

05/30/2008 at 01:59:43 PM Yeager Lynn MLS University of Oklahoma - Tulsa Tulsa OK United States Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  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.

05/30/2008 at 01:19:29 PM Sinn Robin MS Sheridan Libraries; Johns Hopkins University Baltimore MD USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  I am thrilled that this step is being taken. I believe the publishers will not lose money, due to the ability to embargo articles up to 12 months. I believe US taxpayers will be able to see how some of their tax dollars are being spent. Researchers around the globe should benefit since they will have access to research that might not have been available to them previously.

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 4:  The new NIH public access policy serves the public interest and is long overdue. It accelerates medical research and promotes the translation of research into clinical practice and new cures. I oppose attempts by the publishing lobby to water it down or interrupt its implementation.

Congress asked for a mandatory policy in 2004, but the NIH adopted a voluntary policy instead. The compliance rate for the voluntary policy ranged from 4% to 15%, and failed to meet the objectives of Congress and the agency. It's no exaggeration to say that we've waited more than three years for the strengthened policy to take effect and exert its beneficial effects on medical research and healthcare. Further delay would further delay those benefits.

Since the strengthened policy was announced in January, and took effect in April, researchers and their institutions throughout the United States have geared up to comply with it. Here's a list of some of the institutions with web pages devoted to their efforts to educate their faculty about the policy and assist them in compliance. http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/04-02-08.htm#nih

The policy has been thoroughly vetted. The NIH released its first draft policy for a 60 day period of public comments, ending on November 2, 2004, and later extended the period by two weeks. The agency received more than 6,000 comments, which Director Elias Zerhouni described as "overwhelmingly supportive." The NIH solicited a second set of public comments as recently as March 2008 (the comment period ended March 17, 2008). The current round of public comments is the third. Publishers have been heard. As SPARC documented in its public comment (May 30, 2008), "the Office of the NIH Director has met with publishers to discuss the policy 29 times between 2003 and March 2008, versus 20 meetings with all other stakeholders."

I submitted a shorter version of this comment in the second round of public comments, on March 14, 2008. http://publicaccess.nih.gov/comments/comments_via_email.htm

Publishers are mistaken to say that the policy violates copyright. Indeed, the policy uses a simple, effective method to avoid any question of copyright infringement. When NIH grantees publish articles based on NIH-funded research, they must now retain the right to comply with the public access policy, even if they transfer all their other rights to publishers. As a result, public access by the NIH is expressly authorized by the copyright holders.

The public access policy is badly needed to insure that the large volume of high-quality medical research produced by the NIH is made available to everyone who can make use of it: researchers whose universities cannot afford access to the full range of biomedical journals, practicing physicians without university or large-hospital affiliations, non-profit disease advocacy organizations, and patients and their families.

It's not true that all who need access already have it. The best evidence that free online access to peer-reviewed research meets a large unmet need is that open-access articles are cited 50-250% more often than non-open-access articles published in the same issues of the same journals. For the empirical evidence underlying this claim, see the empirical studies collected in the Hitchcock bibliography, http://opcit.eprints.org/oacitation-biblio.html

It's not true that the rise of free online access to peer-reviewed literature will jeopardize peer review itself. Publishers who make that argument cite no evidence and ignore abundant counter-evidence. For a detailed analysis of the question, see my article from September 2007, http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/09-02-07.htm#peerreview

Some publishers have proposed an alternative under which PMC would be a "dark archive" and merely link to the articles at publisher web sites. This proposal is very far from adequate. It does not satisfy the terms laid down Congress and the President, which require that PMC make articles "publicly available". It makes public access depend on publishers, when publishers might change their access policies or go out of business. Publisher delays and omissions would be inevitable; and even when inadvertent, either NIH would spend time and money on monitoring and enforcement, or some valuable NIH-funded research would not be publicly available. Long-term preservation would suffer because libraries and other third-party curators would have to seek permission from many different publishers to make copies for storage and to migrate those copies to new formats to keep them readable as technology changed. Finally, users would fail to get the benefit of the enhancements PMC makes to submitted articles, including XML markup, OAI-interperability, and links to relevant content in the many public NIH databases. Users would be stuck with the publishers' PDFs, which are not readable in bandwidth-poor parts of the world, which frequently lack working links, and which impede text processing by users, text mining and automated translation by software, handicapped access, and mark-up by third parties.

I thank the NIH for its repeatedly demonstrated willingness to take comments from stakeholders.

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 4:  ?in a manner consistent with copyright law?

While we are not experts on congressional intent, we find it difficult to believe that ?in a manner consistent with copyright law? was meant to be the congressional equivalent of ?make copyright someone else?s problem.? Nonetheless, that is precisely what NIH has done. Researchers are told by NIH that the first step in complying with the public access policy is to ?Address Copyright. Before you sign a publication agreement or similar copyright transfer agreement, make sure that the agreement allows the paper to be submitted to NIH in accordance with the Public Access Policy.?

With that brief instruction, NIH appears to think that the congressional intent has been followed. Copyright protection is intended to give the copyright holder the right to determine who can adapt the work to other forms. In reality, NIH has simply redefined the term ?copyright? to suit its PMC model, forcing authors to comply because of their dependence on NIH grant support.

The copyright issues raised by implementation of this policy have been addressed in lengthy documents submitted to NIH by both commercial and non-profit publishers. We list just some of these issues here: a. PMC is reformatting and altering submitted author manuscripts. Why is this preferable to linking to the originally published document? b. NIH is exceeding its legal mandate by distributing copies of the PMC version to Web sites hosted outside the U.S., depositing manuscripts on an international mirror site with plans for additional such sites. How do these sites serve the needs of U.S. taxpayers? c. How will international copyright considerations be addressed to protect rights holders?

These issues raise important questions and concerns regarding copyright protections that would prevail both within and outside U.S. borders. By appropriating and redefining copyright in this manner, NIH has clearly gone beyond congressional intent in regard to making manuscripts publicly available and has disregarded congressional intent related to consistency with copyright law.


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

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 4:  American university presses contribute enormously to the body of research-based English-language publications offered worldwide each year. All of these member presses publish books, and 57 of the members publish 800 scholarly journals. Over 10,000 new book titles and about 12,000 journal articles are professionally selected, peer reviewed, and published through these presses each year. While many of our members' publications address the humanities and social sciences, a substantial number of our publications present information in the life and biomedical sciences. We believe that our publications are a highly efficient way for university faculty to share their peer-reviewed work both with one another and with a large general public. The NIH has requested general as well as specific comment on its Public Access Policy. We will address the broadest question first AAUP is concerned about the possible long-term indirect impact of the limitation on author publishing rights that is implicit in NIH's Public Access Policy. The Policy asserts that the funder of research has a prior claim on the publishing rights an author normally possesses under copyright law. We believe that however well-intentioned and well-executed this transfer of rights may be, it represents a major shift in rights ownership whose impact on the entire system of scientific communication is not known and cannot reliably be predicted. This transfer of rights could trigger a general shift from a "market economy" to a "subsidy economy" to organize the dissemination of articles based on NIH research. While NIH may be well prepared to step in and fund PubMedCentral at a level required to support this system, we doubt there is a likelihood of success if such a change occurs in other areas such as the humanities and social sciences. Where NIH goes others less well-funded may follow, to the detriment of their publishing institutions and infrastructure. While AAUP member presses are not at all averse to adjusting their business models, and creating new ways of doing things, AAUP suggests that unintended negative consequences to these institutions, from unplanned actions, be weighed as NIH implements its Policy. So as not to overburden this letter with information present elsewhere, we refer you to the AAUP's Statement on Open Access available at http://aaupnet.org/aboutup/issues/oa/statement.pdf

05/30/2008 at 12:24:58 PM Connolly Anne   Research Foundation of SUNY (RF) Albany NY USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  The Research Foundation of State University of New York (RF) includes these other comments for the NIH to consider as related to the policy. 1. The RF acknowledges and appreciates the NIH for providing the research community with time, communications, and guidance to inform investigators to help them assure compliance with the mandatory requirement. 2. The RF applauds the NIH for developing good resources (e.g., Frequently Asked Questions) further helping research administrators and investigators understand the applicability of the policy and how to meet the requirements. 3. The RF suggests the NIH needs to clarify the policy to reflect the relationship between NIH funding (as described in the FAQ) and acceptance for publication – the sole criteria described in the policy. 4. The RF appreciates that NIH has included an example of language that can be used in copyright agreements to meet the requirement. 5. The RF feels that the NIH should engage publishers and the research community in collaboration with meeting the mandatory requirement (e.g., modifying standard copyright agreements to include a provision acknowledging 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 within 12 months after publication by the journal.). 6. The RF suggests that the NIH address and clarify the consequences to investigators who inadvertently fail to reserve their rights to submit to PubMed Central. 7. The RF intends to meets its responsibilities under the mandatory requirements as implemented by the NIH Public Access Policy, and we appreciate the opportunity to participate in the NIH’s request for information (RFI) by providing these observations and comments.

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 4:  UIC welcomes this opportunity to express our support for the revised NIH Public Access Policy and its goal of public access to the published results of NIH-funded research.

These comments are submitted on behalf of UIC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Michael Tanner, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research Larry Danziger, and Mary Case, University Librarian.

05/30/2008 at 11:15:43 AM Joseph Heather MS The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition Washington DC USA Other
Question 4:  The NIH Public Access Policy embraces the potential of the Internet to enable new and increased usage of NIH-funded research findings by millions of scientists, physicians and health clinicians, public health officials, patients, small businesses, students, teachers, and others. SPARC commends NIH for its vision and leadership in putting forward this important policy.


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

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 4:  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

05/30/2008 at 10:05:29 AM Mercer Holly MLIS University of Kansas Lawrence KS USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  The University of Kansas is 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.

05/30/2008 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 4:  Thieme appreciates the NIH’s vision for an interconnected world of science and support efforts to enhance public access to scientific research. The STM publishers’ investments have made more information available to more people in more ways than at any time in human history and the STM publishers’ continue to innovate. Like other publishers, the STM publishers’ are experimenting with data mining and visualisation tools, semantic web applications, online navigation aids, flexible displays, free access to the recent archive of published articles, and Web 2.0 applications. The STM publishers’ are also actively supporting the development of international standards to enhance online publications and websites and maximise the discoverability of science.

This investment of resources has created and continues to fuel a system of scholarly communication which is vital to the advancement of science and the determination of critically important personal and professional rewards for scientists throughout the world. While Thieme appreciates NIH’s pledge to work constructively with publishers to fully address copyright concerns and make the policy work, Thieme is troubled by NIH’s lack of concern for any dislocation that will result from adhering to NIH’s “implement and steer” approach for the major shift in policy from voluntary to mandatory submission. Improper implementation of this sweeping mandate has serious implications for all stakeholders in the research community (publishers, authors, and the public) and for science itself. It is important that these implications be fully considered and addressed as soon as possible and Thieme welcomes the opportunity to work with NIH to establish the kind of productive ongoing dialog that we feel will best serve the public interest.

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 4:  Could the embargo period be shortened to 6 months? This would reflect the pace of biomedical research and discovery, align NIH policy with others in place worldwide, and keeps US research institutions competitive with rest of world.

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 4:  The University of Utah believes that this policy supports our mission and presents a tremendous opportunity to transform access, use and generation of research, the processes of discovery and innovation, and patient care. We thank the NIH for the opportunity to reiterate our support.

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 4:   We thank NIH for its efforts to ensure a smooth implementation of the Public Access Policy. We believe the policy will result in a significant improvement in access to health information for our faculty, students and the academic medical centers that we serve.

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 4:  Publishers and small scientific societies rely on subscription revenue to support their operations. Reduction of paid subscriptions could negatively impact the ability of editorial offices to function, and by extension, the quality of scientific papers.

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 4:  We appreciate NIH efforts to ensure a smooth implementation of the Public Access Policy. We believe the policy will result in a significant improvement in access to health information that will benefit both our university and the publics it serves. This result would not be achieved if suggestions of a "dark archive" were pursued. We encourage NIH to reject that approach and continue to focus on the development of PubMed Central as a permanent stable archive.

05/29/2008 at 04:49:01 PM Smith Kevin J.D. Duke University Durham NC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  General comments regarding the overall policy of Duke University regarding the NIH public access policy have been submitted by Deborah Jakubs, University Librarian & Vice Provost for Library Affairs, and Pat Thibodeau, Duke Medicine Associate Dean for Library Services.

05/29/2008 at 04:45:49 PM Jakubs Deborah Ph.D. Duke University Durham NC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  Comments submitted in attached letter on behalf of Deborah Jakubs, Duke University Librarian and Vice-Provost for Library Affairs and Patricia L. Thibodeau, Associate Dean for Library Services, Duke University Medical Center.


File Link:  NIH_comments_may08_w_additions.txt
Description:  MS Word document

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 4:  To date, NIH has engaged in a highly unconventional process of signaling its intent to put a new policy into effect with little advance notice and then soliciting public comment within three weeks of its expected implementation date, with the prospect of announcing possible amendments to the policy six months later. Apparently, NIH considers the transformation of its current voluntary public access policy into a mandatory one as merely an interpretation of an existing policy that requires only the posting of a “revised” policy rather than a formal Notice and Comment Rulemaking.

However, this reflects a woeful miscalculation of the potential impact of this policy on our economy and international trade. Journals published by U.S. scientific, technical, and medical (STM) publishers represent about $3 billion in annual revenue, and North America-based STM publishers account for 45% of all peer-reviewed research papers published annually worldwide. The mandatory NIH public access policy would provide free, world-wide access to U.S. scientific research to countries that are competing with American business and industry, undermining the intent of the America Competes Act.

Therefore, NIH would be well advised to carefully consider the input that it receives from publishers and other key stakeholders and amend the policy to effectively address their compelling concerns. Such a deliberative approach would be in keeping with the guidance provided by the U.S. Senate in report language that accompanied the omnibus appropriations bill. Specifically, the Senate requested that NIH “seek the advice of journal publishers on the implementation of the mandate to ensure that publishers’ copyright protections are maintained.” The scientific publishing community is dedicated to the widespread dissemination of scientific research and welcomes the opportunity to work closely with NIH to ensure that the goals of the public access policy are achieved and that the scientific publishing industry is preserved in the process.

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 4:  This submission supplements our earlier comments and reiterates our support for this policy. We applaud the commitment NIH has shown in pursuing this policy and engaging with all stakeholders. We also wish to express the commitment of UNC’s libraries to maintaining journal subscriptions. Journals continue to play a unique role in the scholarly communications process and we have no intention of canceling subscriptions as a result of the NIH Public Access Policy.

We take the position that open access to federally funded research is not simply an educational or economic issue, but also a moral one that will place vital information into the hands of the very public whose taxes support the advance of science.

--Sarah C. Michalak, University Librarian and Associate Provost for Libraries, on behalf also of Tony Waldrop, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, and Carol Jenkins, Director of the Health Sciences Library

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 4:  This submission supplements our earlier comments and reiterates our support for this policy. We applaud the commitment NIH has shown in pursuing this policy and engaging with all stakeholders. We also wish to express the commitment of UNC’s libraries to maintaining journal subscriptions. Journals continue to play a unique role in the scholarly communications process and we have no intention of canceling subscriptions as a result of the NIH Public Access Policy.

We take the position that open access to federally funded research is not simply an educational or economic issue, but also a moral one that will place vital information into the hands of the very public whose taxes support the advance of science.

--Sarah C. Michalak, University Librarian and Associate Provost for Libraries, on behalf also of Tony Waldrop, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, and Carol Jenkins, Director of the Health Sciences Library

05/29/2008 at 02:59:36 PM Baker Shirley K. MA, MA Washington University St. Louis MO USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  It has been brought to our attention that there an alternative has been proposed for implementation of the Public Access Policy. This alternative would have NIH as a dark archive with links to publishers' websites. The permanent, stable archive for research is a major goal of the NIH policy and would not be achieved by this alternative proposal. To guarantee permanence, a database must be used constantly and curated carefully. Libraries have a long history in archiving and preservation issues, and we can say emphatically that a dark archive that links to publishers’ websites is an unacceptable alternative that NIH has consistently and wisely rejected.

Shirley K. Baker Vice Chancellor for Scholarly Resources and Dean of Libraries Washington University in St. Louis

05/29/2008 at 01:25:46 PM Newman Kathleen PhD University of Illinois Library Urbana IL USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  Although some researchers have commented on how onerous the submission process is, I think instead we should focus on how many have not found it onerous and are, in fact, supportive of the process. Researchers are, by in large, interested in sharing their research. PMC provides an elegant method for doing so. I look forward to the time when all funding agencies require that the fruits of their money be freely available. I hope work is underway to create, at least, a government-wide research archive!

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 4:  The NIH Public Access Policy has afforded an excellent opportunity for the Library to educate researchers about the extensive copyright protections they enjoy as authors. Copyright is not under attack because of the NIH Policy, but just being utilized in a different way. Rather than casually signing these protections away as a condition of publication, authors must now assert their copyright in recognition of funding by taxpayers.

Given the significant commitment of local resources allocated to support compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy, and the stated aims of the policy, we feel that the policy should remain stable for the next year at least. (However, as stated above, a shortening of the embargo period to 6 months would be preferable.) This policy is the first of its kind in the United States, and it would be distressing to see it scaled back significantly so soon after it was enacted.

The NIH Public Access Policy balances the legitimate interests of publishers with wide dissemination of the results of taxpayer-funded research. Deposit of the final peer-reviewed manuscript in a respected archive such as PubMed Central—with its easy linkages to sources of genomic, clinical, and chemical information—will facilitate scientific research and improve public health. I fully support the goals of the NIH Public Access Policy.

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 4:  As publishers bring their business concerns to this discussion, it's important to remember that publishers are not the "peers" in "peer review." Publishers provide useful administrative functions, but scientists and researchers are the ones who provide the essential service of peer review.

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 4:  The A. R. Dykes Library of The University of Kansas Medical Center has developed a web site containing helpguides to the NIH submission process. Library staff are presenting informational sessions and communicating the message of public access to public funded research results. See our website and recorded training events: http://www2.kumc.edu/copyright/NIHPublicAccessPolicy.html

http://www2.kumc.edu/comptraining/events.html

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 4:  Public access is essential! The results of publicly funded research needs to remain open to the public. PMC should NOT be a dark archive with only links to publishers web sites. The role of NIH and NLM is to preserve biomedical literature and merely providing links does not constitute preservation. A file along with description is required and libraries such as the NLM can provide this professional work.

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 4:  As a trusted partner of the international research community and an indispensable link in the pursuit, distribution, preservation, and usage of scientific discovery and knowledge we appreciate the NIH’s vision for an interconnected world of science and support efforts to enhance public access to scientific research. Our investments have made more information available to more people in more ways than at any time in human history and we continue to innovate. Like other publishers, we are experimenting with data mining and visualisation tools, semantic web applications, online navigation aids, flexible displays, free access to the recent archive of published articles, and Web 2.0 applications. We are also actively supporting the development of international standards to enhance online publications and websites and maximise the discoverability of science.

This investment of resources has created and continues to fuel a system of scholarly communication which is vital to the advancement of science and the determination of critically important personal and professional rewards for scientists throughout the world. While we appreciate NIH’s pledge to work constructively with publishers to fully address copyright concerns and make the policy work, we are troubled by NIH’s lack of concern for any dislocation that will result from adhering to NIH’s “implement and steer” approach for the major shift in policy from voluntary to mandatory submission. Improper implementation of this sweeping mandate has serious implications for all stakeholders in the research community (publishers, authors, and the public) and for science itself. It is important that these implications be fully considered and addressed as soon as possible and we welcome the opportunity to work with NIH to establish the kind of productive ongoing dialog that we feel will best serve the public interest.

05/28/2008 at 05:48:50 PM Reichel Mary Ph.D Appalachian State University Boone NC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  I would like to express appreciation for NIH’s willingness to engage librarians, university administrators, researchers, and other stakeholders in the shaping of the Public Access Policy and encourage the NIH to continue to strongly support the new policy and implementation as currently articulated. The Policy is an excellent example of government doing the right thing to speed medical knowledge and discovery around the world.

05/28/2008 at 04:00:29 PM Galea Sandro MD, DrPH University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  No.

05/28/2008 at 03:16:13 PM Adler Prudence MLS, MA Association of Research Libraries Washington District of Columbia USA Other
Question 4:  These comments on the revised NIH Public Access Policy are submitted on behalf of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Public support for science is enhanced when the public sees the benefits from our Nation's investment in scientific research. There is no doubt that scientific research is advanced by greater access to and dissemination of knowledge and the building upon the work of others.

ARL commends NIH for soliciting additional comments on the revised Policy while at the same time, implementing the congressionally approved change in policy. Because the NIH Policy is integrally tied to the mission of higher education, research libraries are collaborating with others across the academic enterprise to ensure effective compliance with the revised Policy. This entails assisting individual researchers, working with campus research offices, developing or extending existing policies to ensure effective compliance, creating informational websites and more. Copyright management and access have been the focus of ARL libraries for quite some time. This involves helping authors make informed decisions so that they exercise their rights and interests in the ownership and use of copyrighted works in a manner that promotes the greatest possible scholarship and public use of their work. As a result, implementation of the NIH Policy builds on existing policies and initiatives and is seen as one more opportunity to support the interests of the academy.

05/28/2008 at 02:29:45 PM DeCrappeo Anthony   Council on Governmental Relations Washington DC USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  COGR offered comment at the public meeting on March 20, 2008. We noted our responsibilities to assist our investigators to meet our shared obligation and expressed our appreciation for the resources that NIH has made available on its web site directed to this issue.

As NIH has moved forward with this policy, investigators have discovered the significant costs of providing public access. Journal charges for public access for a single article have reached, in some cases, $3,000. NIH has reminded the community that publication charges are an allowable expense against a grant. However, charging these publication costs to a grant will result in a considerable reduction in funds available to conduct research.

Moreover, we expect that in many cases publications will be accepted after a grant has closed. As a result, research institutions will be expected to assist investigators in meeting these unexpected costs, putting greater strain on institutions that currently provide more than 20 percent of the funds to conduct research in the US. Combined with increasing unfunded compliance costs for the institutions and reductions in NIH’s budget, in general, this policy will contribute to a real reduction in funds available to conduct biomedical research.

We remain concerned for investigators – particularly junior investigators – whose career advancement may be jeopardized if some journals refuse to accept the reservation of rights or the investigator lacks access to sufficient resources to pay the price for public access. We hope that NIH will continue to engage the publishing community in discussions that seek a resolution of outstanding issues including cooperation in the reservation of rights to submit to PMC and fees associated with providing public access.

A copy of these comments in letter format will be forwarded by USPS.

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 4:  The NIH public access mandate was made possible by convincing a few members of Congress that people were suffering and dying because publishers charge fees for subscriptions to journals. Free the literature and all will be possible, went one open access advertisement. Science deals with proof, and where is the proof that free journal articles will do anything? People are suffering and dying because there are no cures for some diseases; because even when preventive measures are possible they aren't applied (eliminating smoking will save lots of lives); because so many have poor or no access to medical care, including the over 47 million people who are uninsured in one of the richest countries in the world. Now that rich country is cutting research funding when other countries are increasing theirs. Surely more people will suffer and die because research funding is being cut than will ever be affected by access to any or all of the journal literature. For the past decade the NIH's National Library of Medicine (NLM), an organization that would simply not exist were there no publishers, has been leading an attack on commercial and not-for-profit publishers while NLM seeks to become one of the largest publishers in the world, first with eBioMed, then with PubMedCentral. The irony of this is apparent. In the latest implementation of its publishing plans--the mandatory deposit policy--NLM mandates that review articles by NIH-funded authors be deposited on PubMedCentral. Review articles are not original research and therefore not funded by research dollars but by publishers who commission them. They were not covered by the previous, voluntary deposit policy and never discussed by Congress. Thus the decision to require the deposit of review articles was made internally at NIH, without public discussion or legislative ruling. The NLM is funded by our tax dollars but there is no publicly available information on how much has been spent for PubMedCentral or how its effect will be evaluated. Taxpayers' assets should be put to better use than for redundancy--duplicating publishing services already provided by private funding. The real problems of health care have nothing to do with journal articles. We need more research, not more redundancy.

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 4:   Johns Hopkins University Comment on NIH Public Access Policy May 31, 2008

We appreciate the opportunity to express our support for the NIH Public Access Policy and its implementation as currently stated, and supplement our expressions of support as submitted March 17. The continued engagement of NIH with its stakeholders is both wise and productive.

On May 15, 2008, the Johns Hopkins Council of Deans voted to require Johns Hopkins University (JHU) researchers supported by NIH funds to retain sufficient rights to all papers published in the course of their NIH-sponsored research. To do so, there are two alternate addenda and a recommended notification letter that JHU faculty members can employ. The first addendum, http://openaccess.jhmi.edu/ADDENDUM1.pdf, constitutes the bare minimum for compliance with the NIH Public Access requirement. The second addendum, http://openaccess.jhmi.edu/AddendumToPublicationAgreement.pdf , allows faculty members to comply with the NIH requirement while retaining broader rights for their own benefit as apparent from the provisions of this addendum. The Council of Deans voted to encourage faculty members to use Addendum 2 if possible as it is in every scholar’s interest to retain broader rights to their intellectual products. However, to assure compliance with the NIH mandate, the University requires that faculty members at a minimum use Addendum 1. At Johns Hopkins University, the University Libraries Council strongly supports the NIH Public Access Policy. The new NIH reporting requirement will benefit Hopkins authors as well as the public. The requirement provides an important opportunity to make published research funded by NIH and written by Hopkins authors accessible to all - the public, health care providers, educators and scientists, among others. This improved access will help advance science and, ultimately, improve human health.

Deposit in PubMed Central ensures that research results will be preserved in a state-of- the-art digital repository. Free access within a 12-month period will maximize the visibility of Hopkins’ research and ensure that researchers and students around the world will be able to read and build on Hopkins’ work, regardless of their ability to subscribe to the journal in which the research is published. Preliminary research suggests that articles freely available are cited more often and have a greater impact than articles locked away behind subscription walls. NIH public access will foster development of new research tools, open doors to new research avenues, and advance scientific discovery. At Johns Hopkins University, we have taken the following steps in response to the NIH Public Access Policy:

1. The Dean of University Libraries, Winston Tabb, the Director of the Welch Medical Library, Nancy Roderer, and the Vice Provost for Research met to explore how the University and its Libraries can assist its authors in meeting the NIH mandate and support open access to the scholarly output of the University. 2. From that meeting came a recommendation from the Provost to the Deans that the University adopt an authors’ addendum to publication agreements, enabling Hopkins faculty to make their research results freely available through PubMed Central. 3. Created a scholarly communications website (openaccess.jhu.edu) with an FAQ on the NIH policy, including the Johns Hopkins’ authors’ addendum. The FAQ also directs authors to the SCAE, a tool to customize addenda and designed to enable authors to reserve their rights in support of peer exchange, teaching, and public access. The FAQ includes contact information for two members of the Scholarly Communications Group of the University Libraries Council, who will respond to questions from our authors. 4. Advised our Vice Deans for Research in the Schools of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing of the FAQ; remain in close contact with the Office of the General Counsel, sharing the Carroll White Paper and other relevant analysis of implications of the Policy for the University and its authors. 5. Broadcast emails from the Deans and the Provost alerting faculty to their responsibilities under the new mandate have been sent. The emails direct authors to an FAQ on the NIH Policy developed by the University’s Scholarly Communications Group. The School of Public Health and the School of Medicine have linked to the resource from their research administration sites. 6. Initiated discussions on how we might develop an interface between our repository and PubMed Central in collaboration with other institutions and software developers. At our request, the Association of Research Libraries has agreed to play a leadership role in bringing interested parties into the discussion, including the National Library of Medicine. 7. Joined fellow members of the American Association of Health Science Libraries in strong support of the NIH Public Access Policy. 8. Have conducted educational sessions on the policy and how to comply with faculty and staff across the University, and are working with our authors to ensure copyright compliance through the use of addenda to publication agreements, directing them to the NIH Public Access Policy FAQ as needed. 9. JScholarship, the Johns Hopkins institutional repository, is taking an active role in promoting open access publishing activities. The Graduate Board for the University has mandated submission of all theses and dissertations into JScholarship beginning in 2009. JScholarship personnel are currently putting in place a submission workflow to enable students to self-submit their theses into the repository. In addition, we are developing a process by which an author may make his or her work available under a Creative Commons license. We plan to promote the use of these licenses to enable the widest possible use our research materials. Finally, we have devoted a section of our JScholarship "help" pages to copyright issues. This page http://library.jhu.edu/collections/institutionalrepository/irhelppage.html offers advice to authors about copyright issues in the repository, and contains information about the SHERPA/RoMEO database. 10. In sum, the policy has created a valuable opportunity to collaborate across campus, involving faculty, libraries and academic administrators to ensure the broadest level of compliance and exposure of our research results. 11. Finally, the University Libraries Council values the services provided by publishers, and does not believe that we can cancel journals and still provide our faculty, students and researchers the current information necessary for their work.

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 4:  The Washington University community appreciates the willingness of NIH to hear from stakeholders.

The transmission of knowledge is central to the mission of Washington University in St. Louis as is research and the creation of new knowledge. The underlying principle of the NIH Public Access Policy is to disseminate scientific knowledge generated by NIH funded research for the public good. We are confident that WU can meet its obligations to fulfill the requirements of the NIH Public Access Policy.” Speaking as University Librarian, I can assure publishers that the NIH policy will not result in mass cancellation of journal subscriptions at Washington University. The delay of 12 months ensures that taxpayer-funded research ultimately becomes publically available; however our University researchers must have access to the journals without a 12 month delay. Even if the delay were only six months, we would still continue our subscriptions. The University has made the necessary arrangements to support compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. We are revising our grant application submission form to remind investigators of their need to comply and to certify that they have met that obligation. We have also educated the research administrators so that they can help faculty comply.

In addition, librarians are meeting with faculty from all departments engaged in NIH-supported research and providing them with the assistance needed to comply with the law. At the same time, we are engaging in discussions with faculty around copyright issues, to foster an understanding of faculty rights and their obligations. The NIH Public Access Policy has provided a welcome opportunity to engage in these discussions and to encourage broad distribution of Washington University research results. Our work with faculty would be facilitated by NIH’s publishing a list of publishers whose author publishing agreements provide for deposit with PMC in a manner that is consistent with copyright law.

05/28/2008 at 12:38:31 PM Mullaly-Quijas Peggy PhD University of Missouri - Kansas City Kansas City MO USA Other
Question 4:  I appreciate NIH asking for these comments as they implement policy. While I submitted comments before, I wanted to update my thoughts.

The new NIH Public Access Policy is a great opportunity to get NIH funded research out to my faculty and researchers to accelerate the rate of research on my campus. As a Librarian supporting those faculty and researchers, I have spent a great deal of time creating a resource to help educate the faculty on this new policy. Please see: http://libguides.library.umkc.edu/content.php?pid=5230

I understand that the largest concern with the policy from the publishers is that libraries would cancel their subscription to a journal title based on this policy. For my perspective, this is ungrounded. We do not cancel titles for this reason. The embargo alone would require we have access to the most recent journals to support our faculty. If copyright issues are a concern – though I am not sure how! – I am working to educate my faculty on their rights as copyright holders.

My only suggestion is to please consider making the embargo 6 months. Again, as a professional librarian supporting the faculty, I would not be canceling a journal because of this policy.

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 4:  The American Heart Association appreciates the opportunity to comment on the mandatory Open Access Policy. Articles in AHA journals that are original research articles are freely accessbile to all users after six months and all AHA journal content is freely available after one year. We also appreciate the NIH pledge to work constructively with publishers to fully address copyright concerns and make the policy work. However, we would like to echo the comments made via the DC Principles Coalition, our concerns are the same already put forward, and broadly include, as stated already by the DC Principles Coalition (1):

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. For example, given our entire journals are free online after a year, shouldn’t NIH support the full value of copyright and their use in business models including those which involve driving traffic to a publisher site, and permit linking to publishers’ web sites, rather than requiring deposit at PubMed Central ?

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), as you are aware, and we believe more should be done in this area by NIH, hopefully working with publishers and VHOs. We actively participate, for example, in the PatientINFORM effort.

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?

As stated at the beginning of this letter, these are some of the key issues that deserve continued discussion. We thank the NIH for the opportunity to comment.

Sincerely, David Gutterman, MD; Daniel W. Jones, MD

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 4:  The goals of new policy and the Congressional mandate are most welcome. As noted above, researchers want to share their results. A policy that promotes broad access to these results will allow more people to benefit from the sponsored research and for others to build on prior work.

Other disciplines have a long history of sharing research results through pre-prints without having a negative impact on publishers’ ability to maintain a sufficient revenue stream and viable business models. There is no reason to expect a different result here.

Rather, this policy is an important step towards improved public access to publicly funded research. It is essential for NIH to work out practicable processes as similar policies are adopted by other government funding agencies.

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 4:  There is a tremendous amount of federal money that is invested into medical research each year. The NIH Public Access Policy also creates a single, publicly accessible testament to the fruits of this public investment that could potentially lead to increased public support for this critical research. Finally, I appreciate NIH's continued willingness to solicit this feedback from stakeholders.

05/27/2008 at 01:42:55 PM St. Clair Gloriana Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University Libraries Pittsburgh PA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  Respect for copyright

In the academic environment, the original copyright owners of written works are typically the authors who conducted the research. They are free to choose what rights, if any, they want to transfer and to whom. Concerns that publisher copyrights are being infringed by the mandatory NIH Public Access Policy are unfounded. Publishers have no copyrights unless or until authors grant them rights. Furthermore publishers have only the rights that authors grant to them. Publishers must respect author copyrights and the legal authority of authors to manage their copyrights as they see fit. Publisher approval or disapproval of how authors choose to manage their copyrights is irrelevant under the law.

The NIH Public Access Policy does not introduce a new limitation or exception in copyright law, but rather constrains the contract terms to which funded authors can agree. This constraint does not constitute a compulsory license because authors as copyright owners are not legally required to permit others to use their work without permission. What they are legally required to do - if and only if they accept NIH funding - is to retain the rights necessary to deposit their work in PubMed Central.

The NIH is not the copyright owner of peer-reviewed work based on the research it funds. To comply with the legislative mandate that the NIH Public Access Policy be implemented "in a manner consistent with copyright law," NIH must look to the original copyright owners (the authors) to retain the necessary rights to comply with the policy. NIH has no authority to manage or to negotiate authors' rights. Researchers are free to seek funding from the NIH, in which case they must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy, or to seek funding elsewhere. Publishers are free to allow authors to retain the necessary rights to comply with the NIH policy or to refuse to publish the results of NIH-funded research. Requiring authors to manage their copyrights and requiring publishers to respect author copyrights are positive developments in keeping with the letter and spirit of U.S. copyright law.

Author – publisher relationships

Concerns that the NIH Public Access Policy places authors in conflict with publishers suggest that the traditional practice, whereby authors routinely transferred all copyrights to their publishers, has become so entrenched that some publishers feel entitled to the transfer of all copyrights and question or resent the authors' freedom to choose otherwise. There is no legal basis for this entitlement or questioning. The recommendation offered by some publishers that the NIH simply pay publishers for the articles rather than requiring authors or their institutions to negotiate copyright suggests that economic concerns might be driving publisher interest in retaining all copyrights.

Concerns that the NIH Public Access Policy will influence the selection of publishers are real. However the claim that this influencing is unethical masks an underlying discrepancy in operating principles presumed to be allowable for different stakeholders. Publishers understandably want to manage the copyrights granted to them by authors. All copyright owners should want to manage their copyrights. Why, then, is it problematic for authors to manage their copyrights? Under the publish or perish paradigm, authors unreflectively transferred all of their copyrights to the publisher. This paradigm is crumbling, being replaced by a publish and perish paradigm because restricted access and the cost of scholarly journals are shrinking readership. The impact advantage of providing open access to scholarly work and new metrics for evaluating the quality and influence of scholarly work are changing relationships. Authors are beginning to reflect on their copyrights and to decide what rights they want or need to retain. The NIH Public Access Policy might accelerate a trend that has already begun, but the policy did not initiate the trend. Rather, the policy results from the trend.

If indeed the list of PubMed Central (PMC) journal partners available on the NIH website encourages authors to publish in these journals (for the convenience of having the publisher submit their work in compliance with the NIH policy), publishers are free to become PMC partners. If indeed the NIH public access policy leads authors to favor journals with access policies consistent with the NIH policy, that will be beneficial. Publishers are free to change their journal policies. Competitive advantage is a key factor in the free enterprise system. Business models that lose their competitive advantage gain nothing by bucking the trends. I'm reminded of the story of the fellow who continued to manufacture buggy whips long after the horse and buggy were replaced by the automobile. His lamentations did not bring back the horse and buggy.

Publishers are understandably concerned about retaining the commercial value of their copyrights. The allowable twelve-month embargo period will protect their interests. NIH-funded researchers work in disciplines where access to the most up-to-date information is essential to their work and continued funding. They cannot wait until the embargo period is over to see the newest research results. Furthermore reviews, commentaries, and research not funded by the NIH will not be available in PMC. Subscriptions and interlibrary loan will continue to be the primary means of prompt access to this information.

The integrity and usefulness of the scientific record

Some publishers have claimed that the NIH Public Access Policy will harm the integrity and usefulness of the scientific record because multiple versions of a given article will confuse readers and because final peer-reviewed manuscripts in PubMed Central might contain errors. These conditions predate and are irrelevant to the NIH policy. Multiple versions of many articles have been available on the Internet for many years (e.g., technical reports, conference papers, pre-prints, post-prints). Furthermore even published journal articles can contain errors; errata are issued later. Certainly scholars and medical professionals know that the published article is the scientific record. The many citizens who responded to the NIH's call for comments, eager to have free access to research findings, will no doubt raise and discuss what they read with medical professionals.

NIH archive and public access

Many publishers have recommended replacing public access to peer-reviewed manuscripts of NIH-funded work in PubMed Central (PMC) with a link from PMC to the final published version on the publisher's website. However, doing this would not accomplish one of the primary goals of the NIH, which is to create a searchable archive of the work it funds. An alternative recommendation that acknowledges the importance of an NIH archive suggests that PubMed Central become a dark archive used only by NIH and NLM for administrative purposes. Other users would access the published articles on publisher websites.

The dangers of dark archives are well known. For example, a single dark archive offers a very low assurance level and requires elaborate systems to ensure that bit integrity is maintained. Currently the only efficient, affordable way to ensure the integrity and usefulness of a digital collection is to allow its use.

The dangers of relying on publisher websites for open access to NIH-funded articles are also well known. Publishers can go out of business or fail to maintain their archive. Furthermore, they are free to change their access policies. Thus the only way for NIH to ensure that the research it funds is publicly accessible and preserved over time is to maintain an active, replicated archive.


File Link:  NIH_RFI_May2008_948.txt
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 4:  I am a library faculty member at California State University, East Bay, one of many institutions that benefit from the new NIH policy. Thank you for the opportunity to weigh in on this subject.

I currently work with our Chemistry faculty in particular. This faculty actively engages in research, securing grants for their work, and contributing new knowledge to their disciplines. This policy now provides unprecedented access to published research and as time passes, that access will grow exponentially. As our campus is not rich, this will foster and support the work in which they engage. It will improve not only their research, but their teaching. Our students participate in faculty research projects as well as engaging in their own research projects. In addition, the availability of information formerly difficult to access will allow faculty to bring new ideas and research successes into their classrooms. This is our core mission and the NIH policy contributes directly to that mission.

As the person responsible for “spreading the word” on campus, I have provided our faculty with a campus web site that includes instructions on how to comply and how to help publishers of their articles meet the NIH requirements. This is available at http://www.library.csueastbay.edu/copyright/nih.htm, which is our current site, but is also available at http://libwiki.csueastbay.edu/wordpress/using-the-libraries/services/copyright/nih-requirements/, which will be the new site as of Summer quarter 2008. I have also worked closely with our Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, which has directed our current NIH grant holders to the page. Between us, we are working to ensure that these grantees and potential future grantees in our College of Science are aware of and informed about this program and related compliance issues. With this policy, we have a wonderful opportunity to collaborate across campus to ensure broad distribution and exposure for our institution research findings.

We want and need this program to work.

I am aware that there is opposition to this policy on the grounds that this may have a detrimental financial effect on publishers of science journals; however, that would only happen if libraries canceled subscriptions in a wholesale manner. As a library faculty member and practicing librarian, I do not foresee this. There are safeguards in the form of the embargo period and the demands that the requirements for author manuscripts require.

There are also concerns that the policy conflicts with current copyright law; however, I have worked with copyright for decades and I fail to see how this is the case. It is reasonable for the public to expect the availability of information that they sponsor through their governmental taxes.

I have made several suggestions in the question boxes above. In the meantime, as we go through this shakedown and adjustment phase for the new policy, I wish to re-iterate my appreciation for this policy and the gifts it is providing to our faculty and students. It is an important step forward in the sharing of new knowledge.

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 4:  We hope you will review IEEE’s set of “Principles of Scholarly Publishing” at http://www.ieee.org/web/publications/rights/PublishingPrinciples.html. We believe that these principles are important in order to carry out our publishing mission successfully. The IEEE is committed to providing access to scholarly and professional publications in a convenient, timely, and affordable manner. We are supportive of alternative publishing models, like public access, as long as there is a business model to sustain these activities.

Among the publishing principles IEEE has adopted are:

• Society benefits from an objective and intellectually free scholarly publishing environment that is unfettered by censorship or bias based on personal, commercial, or government agenda. • In order to perpetuate itself, scholarly publishing requires financial support from self-sustaining business models. • Copyright and intellectual property rights of authors and publishers must be protected in any publishing activity, including those that involve government-mandated policies on access to government sponsored research.

We urge NIH to consider using IEEE’s well-established and proven online content delivery platform, IEEE Xplore, to serve the needs of the NIH and the public instead of allocating potential grant funds to duplicate publishers’ activities.

05/27/2008 at 09:31:52 AM Frank Martin Ph.D. American Physiological Society Bethesda MD USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  It is critically important for NIH to comply with the policy especially if it expects its investigator community to do the same. Consequently, NIH must not accept articles that are not within the time frame of the policy. Specifically, NIH should not accept articles published prior to May 2, 2005 or April 7, 2008, which ever date NIH decides is the designated start date.

NIH should also provide assistance to investigators by working with publishers to create a database of journal embargo dates. How can an investigator publishing in multiple journals remember the policies of all of them. Just as one can search by journal in PubMed, the manuscript submission site for PMC should include a journal search capacity that would allow for the release period to be populated by default from the NIH created database.

The release date of 12 months should be defined as 12 months after final publication, not 12 months after the journal's posting of the accepted manuscript on a journal website two to three months in advance of final publication.

It is also strongly recommended that NIH only accept researh related mansucripts and/or papers into PMC, not the review articles, editorials, and commentaries commissioned by editors to scientific journals. In advance of the voluntary plan, NIH and Dr. Zerhouni encouraged editors to enhance the value of their subscription based journals by inviting reviews, editorials and commentaries. To now require that such peer-reviewed material be depositied in PMC is inappropriate and not reflective of the earlier policy.

05/27/2008 at 09:02:42 AM Eaton Nancy MLS Penn State University University Park PA USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  Penn State University welcomes this opportunity to express our appreciation and support for the NIH Public Access Policy and its goal of public access to the published results of NIH-funded research. We are confident that in working together we can positively impact the scholarly communication process in ways that benefit society as a whole.

05/26/2008 at 02:39:35 PM Steele Patricia   Indiana University Libraries Bloomington IN USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  Just to reiterate the importance of this policy and all the work we can do to assure its robust implementation.

05/23/2008 at 04:02:13 PM Folsom Aaron MD University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  I have two comments:

1. This policy is an extreme waste of time and should be rescinded, or journals, not PIs, should be required to take care of it. Why is it crucial that articles be made public a few months before publication, when people can wait and get the publication in other ways? How much money is this costing, and for what gain? It's a prime example of wasteful governmental bureaucracy.

2. One problem with implementation is that PIs are responsible for ensuring articles are submitted and cited, but papers are written by authors that may not include the PI. So, there is a disconnect between who knows about the acceptance for publication and who is held responsible.

05/23/2008 at 03:36:05 PM Brash Douglas PhD Yale School of Medicine New Haven Connecticut USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  no

05/23/2008 at 02:43:02 PM Andreadis Debra   Denison University Granville OH USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  I want to commend the NIH on this initiative. I support it wholeheartedly and look forward to its continuance.

05/22/2008 at 02:15:09 PM Roberts Richard Ph.D. New England Biolabs Ipswich MA USA Other
Question 4:  This is long overdue and very much a step in the right direction. When the literature is fully available on line for free that will do more for science than almost any other initiative I can think of.

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 4:  We welcome the opportunity to support this policy and its goal of more open access to research. We are optimistic that in working with publishers, NIH, and others, we can together refashion the scholarly communication process in ways that harness technology’s potential to benefit society through quick, open sharing of scientific research.

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 4:  The American Society for Nutrition is the professional scientific society dedicated to bringing together the world's top researchers, clinical nutritionists and industry to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. Our focus ranges from the most critical details of research and application to the broadest applications in society, in the United States and around the world. ASN publishes The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) and The Journal of Nutrition (JN), the two leading, peer-reviewed scientific journals in the areas of nutrition science and dietetics. ASN appreciates this opportunity to provide comment on the implementation of the NIH Public Access Policy.

ASN supports the principle of public access to science and voluntarily has taken the following significant steps to accomplish this: • The abstracts of ASN journals are indexed in MedLine, which is accessible over the Internet from NIH’s PubMed website. • In 2000, ASN began offering free public access to articles 12 months after publication. • By 2006, the ASN put its entire journal collection, including over 110 years of archival content, online through Stanford University’s High Wire Press. Approximately 98% of online journal content is freely accessible to both subscribers and non-subscribers. • Since 1997, the Society has included free access to the online journal collection as a membership benefit.

ASN is part of a group of more than 59 scholarly publishers who jointly developed the D.C. Principles for Free Access to Science. The DC Principles include a commitment to these forms of free access: • Selected articles of public interest are free from the time of publication • The full text of articles is made freely available either immediately or within months of publication, depending upon what is economically feasible for the journal • Journals are freely available to scientists in many low-income nations • Relevant articles are freely available to individuals in case of compassionate need, i.e. to those seeking information about their own health or that of a family member • Public access to content is facilitated through indexing agreements with Internet search engines

ASN, like many non-profit scholarly publishers, reinvests the revenues from our journals in direct support of science through scientific meetings, research grants, educational outreach, advocacy, dissemination of information to the public, and improvements in scientific publishing. We believe our efforts constitute a sustainable approach to public access.

Notwithstanding our commitment to public access, ASN has serious concerns about the Public Access Policy currently being implemented by NIH. Our concerns are outlined below.

Administrative Burden The new policy places a significant administrative burden on authors, institutions and publishers. The low compliance with the voluntary policy (five percent of NIH funded articles in 2006 were deposited by the author) suggests this is the case. The fact that someone, be it the publisher or the scientist, must deposit the manuscript represents time and money. In many cases, deposition of the manuscript is duplicative since they are available free of charge on the publisher’s site after 12 months.

Review Articles 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.

Copyright The inclusion of blanket requirements in grant contracts has the potential to deny authors and publishers the benefits of their copyrights, among those being the freedom to decide how and in what form their works may be distributed. Moreover, the policy as proposed by NIH may conflict with fundamental copyright principles and does not take into account the value added by publishers and editors. The NIH policy as currently proposed is not, in our opinion, consistent with the legislative mandate to implement said policy in a manner that is consistent with copyright.

Impact on not-for-profit publishers and scientific societies The NIH has not given appropriate consideration to the potential economic impacts of its proposal on publishers and the fundamental roles and services scientific societies provide to their membership and the scientific community at-large. These impacts may be especially severe for scholarly societies and not-for-profit publishers. NIH has stated in past notices that economic and business implications of any policy changes should be taken into account, and the danger that mandated access will interfere with the ability of journals to recover costs still exists. As ASN has implemented policies to improve public access to the research it publishes, the economic impact of these new policies was carefully considered. Certain considerations influence how soon free public access is economically feasible for a particular journal. These include revenue sources, production costs, utilization patterns, time needed for cost recovery, and frequency of publication. For example, it costs on average $3,500 to publish an article in AJCN or JN. NIH should have the same consideration for these factors. Ironically, it is possible that the NIH plan may have the greatest deleterious impact on not-for-profit publishers who already provide some form of free access.

Societies such as ASN derive the bulk of their revenue from journal operations. The membership of these societies – the very scientists who are also NIH-funded investigators – derive important benefits from membership in these societies. Such benefits include access to scientific meetings, organization and review of abstracts, provision of continuing medical education programs, mentorship programs for young scientists, and many more. It is clear that hobbling these societies is a major unintended consequence of the current proposal, and one that is not in the interests of researchers, NIH, or the American public.

Impact on researchers This proposal initially was intended to benefit researchers by broadening access to the scientific literature, but since the NIH policy would affect approximately 10 percent of that literature, it is not clear how helpful it would be. At the same time, journals that publish large amounts on NIH-funded research would suffer the greatest negative repercussions. If the NIH plan indeed undermines journal operations, ASN may have to scale back its publications programs or curtail the activities it supports to advance nutritional science. This could mean fewer opportunities for scientists to share research findings in a timely manner, expand collaborate projects, and train junior scientists. Should journals like ours seek to recover lost production costs by increasing fees charged to authors, research funding also would be affected. Regardless of where the money to pay fees originates—taken from existing grant funds or charged to the research institution or funding agency—the net result is less money for research.

Conclusion We respectfully request that NIH address the concerns as outlined above, and we urge you to fully involve publishers in the implementation of this policy. We look forward to continued dialogue on this important issue. If you have any questions, please contact John Courtney, ASN’s Executive Officer, at (301) 634-7050 or jcourtney@nutrition.org.


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

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 4:  How does NIH anticipate securing and sustaining a source of funding to maintain the database of articles that will accumulate over time, including costs to migrate to new platforms? Under the new policy, US taxpayers will be funding public access to science to any person anywhere in the world with Internet access. Has the NIH considered the ramifications of providing such international access, and how this might affect national security or other US government trade regulations? Considering the far-reaching implications of the substantial change in the NIH public access policy, we urge HHS and NIH to address these and other issues raised during the review period before the NIH Public Access Policy implementation moves too far along without taking into consideration the points raised during the public review period. As we have repeatedly communicated, we would welcome the opportunity to work closely with NIH to resolve issues and concerns raised by the publishing community.

05/19/2008 at 12:33:39 PM Reiter Allan PhD US DoD, Defense Threat Reduction Agency Ft. Belvoir VA USA Other
Question 4:  Highest of kudos for this first step! Long needed. It has been very difficult to review submitted research proposals against my agency's $millions in BAAs when our token library closed down five years ago. Even peer reviewed pubs from DoD laboratories often required a call to obtain. I hope all federal departments, including mine, would mandate the same requirement. We turn down many promising proposals for lack of "preliminary data". Citing a pub in a proposal does not work and we do not have the resources or time to track down the cited pubs during the vetting process. The new generation of doctoral scientists that we hire to manage R&D programs have no way to keep up with the literature without access to the peer reviewed literature. The cost of this new policy will more that pay its way by leading to better awards in the future.

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 4:  Thank you for taking these steps. It's much appreciated.

05/17/2008 at 10:15:31 AM Firnhaber Gina MSN, MLS Laupus Library, East Carolina University Greenville NC USA Other
Question 4:  Much of medical research today is building upon other work and open access is essential for researchers. It also seems useless to fund research that does nothing but sit in a journal. In many cases the time between the discovery of information and implementation in the field is years, mostly from poor diffusion rates rather than access, but requiring research be avaible may help diminish this time lag, especially in research and research based practices.

05/16/2008 at 03:34:01 PM Emmett Ada   n/a Lawrence KS USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  Let me add that although it is more work for the researcher to submit their final manuscript (one more step in a bureaucratic maze of steps)—it is time that scholars/researchers/academics accept the fact that they play a pivotal role in the cycle of knowledge production and consumption. As scholars they must have access to the products of other's research and they must make their results known. The products of scholarship are a public good. Even if they are researchers for the sheer joy of research (with no sense of owing something back to humanity, the Knowledge Commons, society,—whatever one chooses to call it) they must realize that the current system is not sustainable as it is and that the entire world is waiting for a variety of shifts to take place and establish a just balance between the needs of the public (reading, researching and tax-paying public) and the needs of Big Business. The NIH requirement is a first important step.

05/16/2008 at 02:50:17 PM Lewis Margaret   University of Illinois Champaign Ill. USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  Sounds like a reasonable plan.

05/15/2008 at 10:25:28 AM Mercer Holly MLIS University of Kansas Lawrence KS USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  These comments are submitted on behalf of the University of Kansas. We commend NIH for soliciting comments while moving ahead in a timely manner with this critically important congressionally approved policy. The University of Kansas supports the revised NIH Policy because it supports the University’s mission encompassing teaching, research and service as well as an international dimension and humanitarian values. Public support for science is enhanced when the public can see the benefits from our investments in scientific research. Scientific research is advanced with the wider dissemination of new knowledge. The Office of Research and Graduate Studies and the KU Libraries have been actively engaged in assisting NIH funded researchers in complying with the revised policy. We have held information meetings, and created a web page to assist researchers and grant administrators with compliance. Our institution has paid particular attention to copyright management and access issues. Helping authors make informed decisions so that they exercise their rights and interests in the ownership and use of copyrighted works and in a manner that promotes the greatest possible scholarly and public use of their work, is an important focus for the University of Kansas.

05/15/2008 at 05:17:53 AM Shields Peter MD Georgeown University Washington DC United States NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  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.

05/14/2008 at 03:45:25 PM Vinson Daniel MD University of Missouri Columbia MO USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  Some journals are proposing to charge a few thousand dollars to publish an article with open access. Because many papers are published after grant funding ends, this will create a burden for investigators and/or their institutions. It will likely cause shifts in which journals we submit papers to. Thanks for reading. Dan Vinson

05/13/2008 at 09:00:24 AM Miller Jonathan MLS Rollins College Winter Park Florida USA Other
Question 4:  As a library director of a small private liberal arts college with good, but limited, library resources, open access initiatives like yours are a very helpful way of enabling our students and faculty to get access to a wide range of high quality research materials. Previously, they would have had to travel to a major research library or rely on interlibrary loan for in depth research in a wide range of subjects. With access to PubMed and the fulltext of these NIH funded articles our studetns are far better prepared for graduate school and professional careers. In the long term this should help with the shortage of health care professional in Florida.

05/12/2008 at 03:50:06 PM Alley Keith Ph.D. University of California, Merced Merced California USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  As the first American research university of the Twenty-First Century, the University of California, Merced is committed to the kind of new thinking and innovation that informs the NIH Public Access Policy. UC Merced is deeply appreciative of the leadership and foresight shown by the NIH in implementing this policy.

The UC Merced Library provides access to some 20,000 full-text journals but carries no print-format journals. We believe it is only a matter of time until this strategy becomes the norm rather than the exception. Clearly, the NIH Public Access Policy enhances this emerging way of managing a research-library journal collection.

Even more important is the long-term impact the NIH Public Access Policy, in conjunction with similar policies, will have on the future UC Merced School of Medicine. Designed to bring medical education and improved medical care to California’s Central Valley, our state’s most medically underserved region, the UC Merced School of Medicine will follow a distributed model in which students and faculty are spread up and down the Central Valley rather than being clustered around a single teaching hospital. Unimpeded access to online medical research of the sort made possible by the NIH Public Access Policy will be vital under such an educational model, with the ultimate beneficiaries being the residents of California’s Central Valley.

The University of California, Merced commends the NIH for moving access to medical research into the Twenty-First Century and encourages NIH to stand by, and eventually expand, its Public Access Policy.

05/12/2008 at 12:55:37 PM Williams, II. James MS University of Colorado - Boulder Boulder CO USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  Thanks to NIH for the opportunity to comment. Th policy sustains the gift culture among faculty while expanding access to NIH-funded research and its use. The policy will accelerate research and discovery on this campus while generally supporting the development of new knowledge within and beyond the academy. We have already devoted considerable institutional time to the development of protocols that will ensure compliance with the current implementation. And, in the meantime, the library will not cancel journals as a result of this policy; we have developed a faculty rights website that points to the new policy; and I encourage NIH to develop automatic notification and submittal procedures and protocols in order to streamline and leverage the ingest of papers to PMC. Lastly, please continue to reconsider shortening the embargo period to 6 months. I fully support the policy and its implementation. Thanks again for the opportunity to comment.

05/12/2008 at 10:50:53 AM Van Orsdel Lee MLS Grand Valley State University Grand Rapids MI USA Other
Question 4:  The NIH Public Access Policy if one of the best examples in my lifetime (61 years) of the government truly deciding for the people. I'm so proud of all that it represents, both theoretically and practically. It takes courage to face the opposition from the commercial sector, who fear the demise of their industry as a result. My colleagues and I, in academic institutions of all sizes, believe their fears are overblown. You have done the right thing, and that pretty much says it all.

05/12/2008 at 08:45:36 AM Krementsov Nikolai PhD University of Toronto Toronto Ontario Canada NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  Does NIH public Access Policy apply to a book-length manuscript/monograph?

05/08/2008 at 04:21:49 PM Newman Katie Ph D University of Illinois Urbana IL USA Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  The University of Illinois has put up a support site for our researchers. But as the NIHMS submission process is really quite straightforward, I feel that the real added value we are providing our NIH grantees is the guidance concerning their copyrights. See: http://uiuc.libguides.com/content.php?pid=8114

Additionally, we are offering to do third-party submissions for our authors. And we are using the NIH Public Access mandate conversation as an opening for suggesting that our researchers also put their manuscripts in our institutional repository, IDEALS.

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 4:  The NIH policy may cause confusion about the article of record. Changes made by NIH that will result in variations from the original manuscript are of considerable concern. NIH needs to identify precisely how manuscripts will be linked to databases and other resources to ensure the integrity of the underlying work.

The revised mandatory public access policy now calls for submission of review articles. NIH previously encouraged publishers to add review articles to journals as a way to sustain the 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.

The policy imposes an unnecessary administrative burden on researchers and their institutions. We question if this is the best use of investigators’ time and public funds. Given the magnitude of the policy, we remain concerned about the lack of rigorous analysis and public discussion of the cost involved. We request that NIH examine and publish the cost of this policy. We are concerned that the NIH publication policy will draw resources from other areas of critical research investment, particularly in this time of constrained budgets.

We are aware that there are calls for NIH to reduce the time of manuscript release to six months or less. This would seriously compromise the ability of most of the FASEB member society journals to provide quality peer review, editing, and publishing of NIH funded research results. We urge NIH to maintain the 12-month upper limit.

05/05/2008 at 03:52:04 AM Madhusoodanan Ramakrishnan PhD NCCAM Alleppey Kerala India Representative NIH Funding Recipient Organization
Question 4:  Some NIH portfolio journal's current trend have some uninterested policy to handling the NIH accepted author manuscripts.This may cause at least rather four month delay period in one journal submission to another and its respective, peer review . This may cause potential burden to comply NIH Public Access policy in some NIH supported investigator's manuscript publication at the proper time.I humbly request perusal NIH attention to this subject.

05/02/2008 at 05:53:11 PM Boothby Mark M.D., Ph.D. Vanderbilt University Nashville TN USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  In implementation, it is unfortunate and has major unacknowledged costs that were avoidable and, at a time when each decrease of 1 R01 is spelling one less trained scientist as PI in the system, highly regrettable. Probably also is one of those instances where there are two conflicting laws (mandatory review for cost-benefit analysis e.g., in selection of implementation method versus weird set-aside specification of PMC in Sec 218 od PL 110-161) and the whole mess will end up in court – costing further money and undercutting optimal implementation of the general goal.

Among hidden costs – 1. more NIH-funded scientists just saying ‘screw it’ (international competition for scientists) 2. one more bit of bureaucratic creep and reason to advise talented young folks to steer clear of scientific career 3. probably large amounts of money diverted away from actually doing science. 4. Top-quality peer-review (and other aspects of NIH) depend on mutuality with the PI community, and constantly dumping on us or taking such high-handed approaches is not likely to foster the spirit that enhances other NIH needs. And more . .. .

that said, if it were implemented better A reasonable general notion – that the taxpaying public (and congressional staff, etc) should, within a reasonable period of time, have access to articles representing the fruits of the support. A reasonable general notion, that building access with some database characteristics might help NIH get a better handle on its own portfolio and help its program and scientific review officers a bit.

05/01/2008 at 10:59:25 AM Sweet Douglas PhD VCU Richmond VA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  N/A

04/30/2008 at 03:49:03 PM Lackner andrew DVM, PhD Tulane University Covington LA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  A wonderful idea in concept but a disaster in implementation. The investigators are not the problem.

04/30/2008 at 02:59:24 PM MacLennan John PhD University of Cincinnati Cincinnati OH USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  I am now in the situation of having to either dump a paper that just got accepted after revisions and start all over with another journal (at clearly a cost of $1000s) or pay $2600 of NIH funds to make it available to everyone even though essentially everyone who will read the paper already will have access to it through their institutions. I can not believe this policy is a good use of the very limited NIH funds.

04/29/2008 at 10:57:32 AM Vogt Brent Ph.D. SUNY Upstate Medical University Manlius NY USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  The journal publication mechanism is well established and this NIH process is redundant and unnecessary. What the government has managed to accomplish is to generate a new level of detail and compliance that is not necessary; a process that removes resources from performing research. Once again we have been given a mandate that will do nothing to improve communication but it will remove the funds we need to get our work done. Since this is a mandate, we need to develop a way to reverse the mandate rather than come up with a method for wasting precious resources.

04/28/2008 at 04:41:40 PM Taylor Russell PhD Johns Hopkins University Baltimore Md USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  This is a good idea, but will be a nightmare for investigators unless much more groundwork is laid before it is enforced.

04/28/2008 at 03:55:37 PM Emery David PhD University of Washington Seattle WA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  It is a good policy in principle. However, the NIH needs to appreciate the significant burden this places on investigators. The NIH should take the responsibility of implementing the public access policy, not individual investigators.

04/28/2008 at 03:19:38 PM Brash Douglas PhD Yale School of Medicine New Haven CT USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  My institution tells us that we must now include the PMC ID number of papers from OTHER laboratories when we cite these papers in our grant proposal or report. But on the NIH website, I only see rules about adding PMC numbers to citations of our own papers. Which is correct? Thanks

04/27/2008 at 11:58:10 PM Burack Jeffrey J.D. n/a New York NY USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  Great policy advance. Long overdue.

04/24/2008 at 07:45:43 PM Thiagarajan Balasubramanian Ph.D Annamalai University Annamalainagar Tamil Nadu India Other
Question 4:  It is a boon to researchers in developing countries like India who can not simply afford to access subscribed journals.

04/15/2008 at 01:14:45 PM Myers Gary MD University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester NY USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:   The public access of these manuscripts is desirable, but requiring thousands of investigators to learn new procedures and invest large amounts of time is not cost efficient.

04/09/2008 at 09:25:24 PM Kobertz William Ph. D. UMASS Medical School Worcester MA USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  The issue of copywrite infringement with the ACS (american chemical society) journals is an issue. Do we just upload the pdf file to the NIH even if it is not publically avialable. The FAQ is totally vague and recommends that the PIs contact the journal. This is ridiculous. The journal will tell us that we can't do it because they want to make money and not have the paper freely available.

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 4:  As a librarian, I thank you for making this mandatory.

04/04/2008 at 11:25:28 AM sanders pat ged na bennington nh USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  no

04/04/2008 at 11:25:23 AM sanders pat ged na bennington nh USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  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 4:  Was the intent of the law really to do this or was it really

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 4:  I think that the policy is a great step forward!

04/03/2008 at 02:32:40 PM Watson Cheryl PhD University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston TX USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  If it is not possible for commercial publishers to abide by rules of total and immediate disclosure of publically funded studies, then scientists should adopt a completely different system for publishing their papers.

04/02/2008 at 01:59:18 PM Labuhn Denis MD Einstein NY NY USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  Keep stop this nonsense but thanks for asking.

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 4:  I am aware that there was a debate as to whether the time limit should be three months, six months or 12 months. The 12 month time period is much too long for information that relates to life-saving information both in the US and especially in resource poor countries. Since carrying out conclusions of articles often requires the entire methodology and the discussion includes cautions and alternatives it is essential that the article and not just the contract be available in a timely manner.

I would argue that the TRIPS agreement is applicable to publication of articles just as it is applicable to patented drugs. It makes no sense that generic drugs can be manufactured in countries one life-threatening health situations exist but the articles which tell us how to use the drugs are still under intellectual property control. As the HIV epidemic moves more and more into resource poor countries, the physicians who perform the studies, the patients who are participants in the study, and the health care professionals who are responsible for health care require that the information be provided to them in a timely manner. A12 month delay is just too long.

04/01/2008 at 03:42:50 PM Cook Andrew PhD Physics Eugene OR USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  The public access policy is very important. The National Science Foundation and Department of Energy should follow suit immediately. As a physicist, I often have trouble accessing publicly funded research in a timely manner due to my University's decreased journal budget.

04/01/2008 at 02:44:18 PM Ritchie Thomas B.S. of Biology Rutgers University New Brunswick NJ USA Other
Question 4:  Allowing public access to full HTML text documents of all research using Federal money is the best change for the advancement of scientific knowledge currently possible. I've been annoyed that it took the PLoS to finally goad the NIH into enacting this policy, but I won't complain so long as I can access research papers that for so long have been inaccessible due to exorbitant fees that I as a student couldn't hope to afford.

04/01/2008 at 02:39:15 PM Rubin Ethel PhD BioFortis Columbia MD USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  It is about time!

04/01/2008 at 02:09:30 PM Freytag Richard Masters Freytag & Company, LLC Reston VA USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  This public access policy is overdue and an excellent policy that I can only hope other national research funding agencies will emulate.

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 4:  I would be intensely interested in how the NIH funded research has been used to generate treatments and drugs for various diseases. I am especially interested in publicly funded research that has been directly used to generate a patented drug or treatment.

It would be easy to ask NIH funded researchers to provide a brief synopsis of drug developments that immediately stem from their work. 2-3 sentences per paper per year would be sufficient and that blurb could be used to track publicly funded drugs and treatments.

04/01/2008 at 12:46:10 PM Dante Doug Bachelors Personal Detroit MI USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  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.

All NIH funded grants subject to the public access requirement should be available to the public on a web site with information at the time that the grant is made. All grants not subject to that requirement should also be listed and a reason why they can't be given to the public should be included. (e.g. National Security)

04/01/2008 at 12:18:33 PM Romans Ehs PhD UT Arlen TX USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  NOW YOU LISTEN TO ME. PUBLIC TAX PAYER MONEY MEANS YOU NEED TO KEEP THE SYSTEM ___OPEN___

04/01/2008 at 11:51:59 AM LaValle Craig   Prologic Technology Systems Austin TX USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  One of the foundations of science is communication. Open access will allow communication and ideas to flow more freely and stoke the fires of scientific inquiry and progress. It will also help prevent needless duplication of effort. In short, this is a common sense proposal that can only help humanity.

04/01/2008 at 09:28:28 AM Milgram Eric Ph.D. Individual Wake Forest NC USA Other Member of the Public
Question 4:  I am very happy that this policy was enacted. Although I recognize the important role that publishers have in the process of disseminating scientific information, I also recognize that without public funding of the research itself, those publishers would have no content.

The internet and the WWW have changed the options for publication tremendously. Understandably, the publishers who have provided a valuable service to the scientific community, while simultaneously building a very successful and profitable business, do not want that to change.

However, just as the digital camera changed the field of photography by making it cheaper and more accessible, the WWW is doing the same thing for publishing. Many successful photographers who had built their business using the constraints of the pre-digital era had a hard time transitioning to the digital era. In this same way, some publishers will not make the transition, but there will be many opportunities for those publishers who embrace the digital age and think innovatively.

03/31/2008 at 06:09:49 PM Gudas Lorraine PhD Weill Cornell Medical College New York New York USA NIH-funded Investigator
Question 4:  It is not necessary and a waste of time and money. Duplication of time and effort.

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 4:  The NIH policy is splendid, timely, historic. But it can be made orders of magnitude more successful, effective, and worthy of emulation worldwide if the one small implementational detail I have recommended is adopted.

There will then be a synergy between funder OA self-archiving mandates like NIH's and institutional OA self-archiving mandates like Harvard's, with one point of direct deposit (the institution) and both the institution and NIH jointly monitoring and ensuring compliance.

Total Comments = 123

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