The National Institutes of Health Thursday unveiled a policy aimed at giving the public free and faster access to federally funded medical research.
NIH Director Elias Zerhouni said the voluntary policy encourages scientists who receive full or partial NIH funding to submit their research papers to a database that will be run by the agency. That database will begin accepting papers for publication on May 2. The research will be archived and the database will be designed to be easily searchable by the public via the Internet, NIH officials said.
In a more contentiuous issue, the NIH is pushing that even top-tier medical publications be made available relatively quickly:
The policy asks scientists to make their work freely available on the NIH’s PubMed Central database “as soon as possible and within 12 months of final publication” in scientific journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine.