Contact Your Representative about the NIH Public Access Policy

If you’ve not done so already, please contact your U.S. Representative to express your support for a mandatory National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy – as soon as possible – and no later than the end of the day Wednesday, June 6.

The House is expected to mark up the fiscal year (FY) 2008 Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill within the week. The bill will then move to the full Appropriations committee. (The Senate Appropriations Committee – Labor/HHS Subcommittee is expected to review its version of appropriations bills later.)

Language is needed in the Appropriations bill to ensure this policy’s success and to provide public access to the results of NIH-funded research. Please visit the Web site of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org (administered by SPARC). NOTE: After the following list of Representatives, you will find talking points for your message.

In particular, we understand that Democratic members are being targeted by opponents of this policy. Constituents of the following member districts are urged to call or fax:

HOUSE Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

DEMOCRATIC

Chair: Dave Obey (WI)
Phone: (202) 225-3365

Nita M. Lowey (NY)
Phone: (202) 225-6506

Rosa L. DeLauro (CT)
Phone: 202-225-3661

Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (IL)
Phone: (202) 225-0773

Patrick J. Kennedy (RI)
Phone: (202) 225-4911

Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA)

Phone: (202) 225-1766

Barbara Lee (CA)
Phone: (202) 225-2661

Tom Udall (NM)
Phone: 202-225-6190

Michael Honda (CA)
Phone: (202) 225-2631

Betty McCollum (MN)
Phone: (202) 225-6631

Tim Ryan (OH)
Phone: 202-225-5261

REPUBLICAN

Ranking Member: James T. Walsh (NY)
Phone: (202) 225-3701

Ralph Regula (OH)
Phone: (202) 225-3876

John E. Peterson (PA)
Phone: (202) 225-2151

Dave Weldon (FL)
Phone: (202) 225-3671

Michael K. Simpson (ID)

Phone: (202) 225-5531

Dennis R. Rehberg (MT)
Phone: (202) 225-3211

Jerry Lewis (CA), Ex Officio
Phone: (202) 225-5861

Search by zip code to find your Representative’s contact information at http://www.capwiz.com/ala/home.

Talking points on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy:

  • Changes are needed for the NIH Public Access Policy to Achieve its Goals
  • Every year, the NIH funds billions of dollars in scientific research. U.S. taxpayers underwrite this research and they have a right to expect that its dissemination and use will be maximized, and also that they themselves will have access to it.
  • Faster and wider sharing of knowledge fuels the advance of science. Broad communication of research results is an essential component of the US government’s investment in science. For the first time, the Internet makes it possible to share the latest scientific advances promptly with every scientist, physician, educator, and citizen who wants them.
  • NIH strongly supports this goal and has instituted a voluntary system intended to make scientific research more broadly available for use. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, that system is not working. That is why NIH is now asking Congress to include language in the LHHS bill to make the program mandatory. In fact, the House included similar language last year (which we believe the Senate was going to accept in conference), but due to the way the appropriations process concluded, it did not become law.
  • The language we are asking for this year (and that was included last year) requires that results of NIH-funded research be deposited and preserved in an online database at NIH, freely accessible to the public, within one year of publication in a scientific journal.

About Jacob Roberts

Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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