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March 9, 2006
Also appeared in print March 13, 2006, p. 13


NIH Public Access Policy Is Having Little Impact

Survey looks at how well NIH-funded authors understand agency policy

Susan Morrissey

Although about 85% of NIH-funded researchers say they have heard about NIH???s policy on public access to research articles, only 18% of them report knowing specific details, according to a study by the Publishing Research Consortium (PRC), an international group of publishers and scientific societies.

The survey of 1,128 journal authors was conducted in January. It focuses on how well authors who publish in the life sciences and medical journals understand NIH???s public-access policy. That policy, issued in May 2005, asks NIH-funded researchers to voluntarily post their manuscripts on PubMed Central, the agency???s online database, within one year of publication.

The survey results also indicate that a lack of understanding about the policy has resulted in low submission rates: 24% of the NIH-funded authors surveyed reported that they have submitted a full manuscript to PubMed Central. Another 43% said they intend to do so in the future. Only 3% said they don???t plan to post manuscripts on the database.

???As publishers, we are committed to working with NIH in improving dissemination of and enhancing access to scientific and medical research,??? said PRC Chairman Robert Campbell in a statement, adding that the publishing consortium will work with NIH to facilitate author compliance.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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