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Action Needed Re: NIH Public Access Policy

The House Committee on Appropriations will consider the fiscal year (FY) 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill on July 11. If you have a Representative on the House Appropriations Committee, please call, email or fax them to support the inclusion of language that would require National Institutes of Health (NIH) investigators to deposit their “final peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.” The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill with this language in June

The Association of American Publishers is asking members of the Committee to eliminate and/or change this language, so it is critically important that Representatives hear from those who support the change in the NIH public access policy.

A list of members of the House Committee on Appropriations can be found on the Committee’s website, and talking points courtesy of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) are included below.

Please let Tara Olivero ( in the Office of Government Relations know if you need additional information. If you have written to your Representative on this issue previously, thank you. It is very important to do so once again.

Key Points

If your Representative is listed, please contact him or her by phone or fax by Tuesday, July 10 with the following talking points:

• Support language in the FY 2008 Appropriations Bill to require NIH grantees to deposit final peer-reviewed manuscripts no later than 12 months following publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

• Oppose any amendment/attempt to strike or change language emerging from the Labor/HHS Subcommittee ­ particularly calls to make the policy voluntary.

• This change in policy, that it be a requirement to deposit federally funded research at the NIH, has the full support of the NIH Director, as well as broad bipartisan support in Congress.

• Public access to federally funded research speeds the pace of discovery by expanding access to research findings ­ something the voluntary policy has failed to do.

• Enhanced public access also significantly improves NIH’s accountability both internally and with Congress by making it much simpler to track NIH investments and corresponding results.

• The NIH’s current voluntary policy has failed to achieve the policy’s stated goals since its implementation in 2005. A mandate to deposit federally funded research is needed to ensure compliance and to achieve NIH’s mission driven polices — supporting accountability, archiving federally funded research and enhancing public access to federally funded research.

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

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