Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Solstice: A quiet revolution in human knowledge

This is a revolution.
ATA : Public Access Mandate Made Law

...President Bush has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007 (H.R. 2764), which includes a provision directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide the public with open online access to findings from its funded research. This is the first time the U.S. government has mandated public access to research funded by a major agency.

The provision directs the NIH to change its existing Public Access Policy, implemented as a voluntary measure in 2005, so that participation is required for agency-funded investigators. Researchers will now be required to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central. Full texts of the articles will be publicly available and searchable online in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication in a journal...
I wonder if Bush knew what he signed. The open access provision would have been buried deeply in the bill.

Thank you Betsy Humphreys and the National Library of Medicine team that has worked for this end.

Thank you Alliance for Taxpayer Access. That's a diabolically clever name, anyone reading it assumes it's a group of rightwingnuts rather than a covert commie coop devoted to making knowledge freely available to all ...
A diverse and growing alliance of organizations representing taxpayers, patients, physicians, researchers, and institutions that support open public access to taxpayer-funded research...
I'd also like to thank the biomedical publishing industry. This could never have happened without the transformation of a cottage industry into short-sighted publicly traded corporations dedicated to maximizing near term revenue. Publishers pushed journal subscription and archive access prices to stratospheric levels, knowing their subscribers had no real options. It was a great short term strategy ...

This is a good day for the world.

Update 4/9/10: Three years later open access continues to expand internationally, and the US may make another big leap forward.

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