Monday, August 30, 2004

NIH (=federally) funded research must be open access

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) strongly supports reforms that will make federally funded biomedical research openly accessible and available on line and at no extra cost to the American public.

ACRL has sent letters to Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and to members of Congress encouraging them to ensure that peer-reviewed articles on taxpayer-funded research at NIH become fully accessible.

In addition, ACRL has joined the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, an informal coalition of libraries, patient and health policy advocates, and other stakeholders who support reforms that will make publicly funded biomedical research accessible to the public. ACRL also encourages libraries and institutions to join the Alliance.

Today the vast majority of research funded with public dollars is available only through increasingly costly journal subscriptions (often costing thousands of dollars annually for a single journal), institutional licenses (more than a million dollars annually for many universities), or per
article purchases (as much as $30 per article). Alliance supporters
believe the current system of subscription-based access to scientific research is economically unsustainable and effectively impedes the dissemination and use of research that has been paid for with public dollars.

ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic and research libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.

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