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RE: "Life After NIH"--additional data

Ann has asked me to give a more detailed description of the non-OA portion
on the NIH proposals.

Their current policy can be found at 
It includes:

"Additionally, the formatting of journal articles may vary significantly
among publishers' websites. The Policy addresses this deficiency in that
all articles in PMC, regardless of their original format, are converted
into a single, explicit, and well-specified data format. This format is
known as the NLM Journal Article Extensible Markup Language (XML) Document
Type Definition (DTD). Further, as new needs arise, and as technology and
applications change, there is a single, uniform base upon which to build."

This means that the NIH intends to take the authors MS and recompose it
using their own XML into their own version, for incorporation into PMC in
a version that will neither be the author's nor the publisher's. It is not
clear to me what they intend to do with submissions in final PDF, but
judging from the above, they intend to recompose these as well.

Their reasons for doing so are, and I quote from the same source:

"NIH needs to compile these publications into a single archive in order to
manage its research portfolio better and monitor its funding choices"

also given in more extended form as

"NIH believes that the NIH Public Access Policy will effectively advance
its stated goals. By storing research publications from diverse sources in
a searchable, electronic archive with a common format, PMC facilitates
greater integration with related resources in other NLM databases such as
DNA and protein sequences, protein structures, clinical trials, small
molecules (PubChem), and taxonomy thus providing the opportunity to
develop unprecedented scientific search and analysis capabilities for the
benefit of science. One of the primary goals of PMC is the creation of a
permanent, digital archive of journal literature, which by definition,
means the full text must be deposited in PMC. This searchable archive will
enable NIH program officials to manage their research portfolios more
efficiently, monitor scientific productivity, and ultimately, help set
research priorities. This strategy also will enable NIH to advance its
goal of creating an end-to-end, paperless grants management process.
Finally, it will make the publications of NIH-funded research more
accessible to and searchable for the public, health care providers,
educators, and scientists."

Upon reading the above, I could only wonder if I were understanding it
correctly.  But public and private comments of those from the NIH and
elsewhere confirm this reading. if I have nonetheless misunderstood, I am
sure to be corrected.

There is however reason to hope: the NIH policy has already changed
radically several times in the last 8 months.

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

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu on behalf of David Goodman
Sent: Mon 4/18/2005 6:06 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu; AmSci Forum
Subject: RE: "Life After NIH"

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