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NEWS: NIH Bypasses Need for Open Access Legislation

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posted on Oct, 19 2004 @ 11:59 AM
The Bill for Open Access to publicly funded research failed to clear the Senate. Now, the NIH has bypassed the need for new legislation simply by adding a new clause to the standard agreement for grants and contracts - and making Open Access a condition for getting government funding through the NIH. No legislation is required.
"One interesting aspect of the NIH development, though Congress pressed for the move - the NIH did not require statutory action to implement the policy, just a change in the boilerplate conditions of grants and contracts. This means other major federal research and development funding agencies could also establish open access policies without bothering Congress."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Medical and scientific research paid for with taxpayers money is privately owned by drug companies and other corporations. The public has no rights to access this research, nor do scientists and students. Limited access to publicly funded research is available at the discretion of the companies and corporations, for a price. The world wide Open Access movement is changing this situation, and demanding Open Access to research funded with taxpayers money. In the USA, the National Institutes of Health developed an Open Access plan under Bill HR5006 - it was passed by Congress on 9/9/04 and by Senate Committee as S 2810 on 9/15/04. Then, the Bill was blocked by drug companies and other corporations, and certain members of the Senate.

Open Access to research is important to everyone - because companies can and do hide the negative results of their tests and trials. As a result, people die or suffer needlessly. Concerned health groups are fighting for their members' rights to be fully informed. In the USA, "the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, a group of professional associations representing libraries, health researchers, and disease-specific patient advocay groups" was launched in August 2004 to push the NIH to open access.

Today, the tide turned. It looks like new legislation or a direct order from the President will be required to PREVENT Open Access - or maybe just a new NIH Director that toes the line and changes the form agreements back to the way they were. Until then, we have Open Access to the research we pay for through the NIH.

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[edit on 19-10-2004 by Banshee]


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