Friday, December 14, 2012

Sharpening the Teeth on a Whale

For some time now the US NIH has had a Public Access Policy, requiring that any publication supported by them be readily available at no cost to the public.  However, given that many of the highest visibility journals (that means you Nature and Science and Springer) have resisted open publication, the wish has been too often honored in abstentia.  A recent (November 16, 2012) change in policy pour encourager les autres may tilt the field

With this Notice, NIH informs grantees that in Spring, 2013, at the earliest, NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy.  The award will not be processed until recipients have demonstrated compliance.  This change will take effect in tandem with NIH requiring the use of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPRs) for all Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship awards in the Spring of 2013 (see NIH NOT-OD-12-142). 
There will be a few exceptions
Submitting an RPPR with a non-compliant publication will generate an automated email notifying the grantee that the progress report includes citations that are out of compliance with the public access policy and requesting a response by a specified due date two weeks prior to the next budget start date.  As indicated above, no sooner than Spring, 2013, the non-competing continuation award will be delayed until a reply to the e-notification is received from the grantee with evidence of compliance or a satisfactory explanation (e.g., the sole author has passed away before they were able to process the manuscript for posting to PubMed Central).

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