Thursday, December 27, 2007

Open access to federally funded research

Linked from Slashdot today: tucked into the appropriations act just signed by President Bush, a requirement that the NIH must provide online access to research it has funded. This is a tremendous precedent, the first time that the US federal government has made open online access a condition of receiving federal funding for research.

The NIH is the focus, not the NEH, in part because people understand that medical research matters (as the respective budgets of the NIH and NEH also show). But the NIH was also in the Congressional spotlight because of the sustained advocacy of leading scientists, such as the open letter to Congress signed by 25 Nobel laureates in 2004 and by 26 Nobel winners in 2007.

Meanwhile, the American Philological Association, the professional organization that purports to represent classical studies, has inaugurated a multimillion dollar fundraising campaign to establish a "Digital Portal" centered on subscription-based access to a bibliography of print publications.

fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium

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