Monday, September 06, 2004

NIH Proposes Free Access For Public to Research Data

This opens up a new area in the evolving landscape of post-internet publishing:

The National Institutes of Health has proposed a major policy change that would require all scientists who receive funding from the agency to make the results of their research available to the public for free.

The proposal, posted on the agency's Web site late Friday and subject to a 60-day public comment period, would mark a significant departure from current practice, in which the scientific journals that publish those results retain control over that information. Subscriptions to those journals can run into the thousands of dollars. Nonsubscribers wishing to get individual articles must typically pay about $30 each -- fees that can quickly add up for someone trying to learn about a newly diagnosed disease in the family.

An interesting idea: Since most CS funding also comes from the NSF and the DoD (both tax-funded agencies), such an idea could easily float our way.

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