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RE: "Life After NIH"


Demand from users will cause improvements in the policy, and it would be
rational for organizations such as SPARC to encourage it.  There is no
reason not to support such work, while of course continuing other

The NIH, in its effort to avoid offending any of the parties involved, has
not only proposed a policy for OA so weak that it is drastic need of such
improvements, but also encumbered the OA policy with a multitude of
additional programs. They were probably introduced so the NIH could say
that administering grants is the reason for their policy, not OA.

The NIH need to do two things:

1) mandate OA for the sake of OA--the reason for the existence NIH is the
production and dissemination of scientific information, not support of the
publishing industry.

2) introduce and justify their other proposals separately. There is no
reason to discuss them or their merits here, as they have nothing to do
with OA.

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor, 
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University, Brookville, NY 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2005 3:31 PM
To: AmSci Forum
Subject: "Life After NIH"

    Andrew R. Albanese "Life After NIH" (Library Journal, April 15 2005)

In this article today about the NIH 6-12-month Back Access "Request"
Policy, Albanese asks "After a flawed policy, what's next for librarians
and open access?"

    "SPARC executive director Rick Johnson, one of the NIH proposal's most
    ardent supporters says... 'I see open access as a means to introduce
    market forces into a system that largely is devoid of them. Our task
    is to break this monopoly and at the same time enable a competitive,
    dynamic market for services that add value to research.'"

I instead see open access as open access. I see our immediate task as
reaching 100% open access, already well within reach, as soon as possible.
I think we are already quite late.

    "Johnson says it is a mistake to take the current NIH policy at
    face value and that the public discussion SPARC has helped fuel will
    crystallize into success for open access. 'Without such a clear symbol
    of why we need open access, change on a broad scale would occur at
    a slower pace,' he says. 'I am convinced that Congress will not be
    satisfied with a de facto 12-month embargo, and I can't imagine the
    NIH will be either... The current [NIH] policy is not the end of
    the discussion... We'll soon know what percentages of eligible
    papers make their way into PubMed Central and the average delay in
    public availability. If the result does not respond to the wishes
    of Congress, then I expect NIH will make adjustments.'"

I think our pace could not possibly be slower and that waiting several
more years to weigh the "percentage of papers" and the "average delay" of
NIH Back Access and then "make adjustments" is an extremely bad idea.

There is an immediate alternative, which is to adopt and promote the more
recent and optimal Berlin-3 Policy recommendation (formulated this month
at an international meeting in Southampton UK) instead of the flawed NIH



Stevan Harnad