ORGANIZATIONS PROPOSE REVISIONS TO NEW OPEN ACCESS PROPOSAL
On October 17, fifty-seven scientific and medical organizations submitted a letter proposing revisions to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) open access policy that was sent to Dr. Elias Zerhouni. The letter asks that NIH provide public access to final articles through the existing system of NIH links from the abstracts that are indexed in the MEDLINE/PubMed database rather than hosting author manuscripts on the PubMed Central (PMC) Web site.
By linking to journal Web sites rather than hosting different manuscripts, NIH can provide access to more than a million articles that are available without cost to the government or to the reader. In detail, the proposal includes a public-private partnership with NIH that would take advantage of the fact that most not-for-profit publishers already make all of their research articles—not just NIH-supported ones—available for free to the public 12 months or less after publication. Instead of NIH/PMC undertaking a new publishing venture that involves formatting and publishing unfinished manuscripts of NIH-funded authors, the letter argues that NIH should use existing links from NIH's highly respected PubMed to the existing journals' Web sites. Using these links, readers can access the final, published articles already residing on journals' Web sites.
Since the May 2 launch of its enhanced access policy, NIH has reported that only about 3% of the eligible articles have been voluntarily submitted to NIH to be placed in the PMC database for public review. This latest proposal is an attempt to make the open access policy a success for both NIH and the publishing community. The letter asks that NIH meet with the signatories in order to create steps to implement this new proposal.
OFFICE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTIONS REQUESTS PUBLIC COMMENT
The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) is soliciting public comment on a draft guidance document for Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), …