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A Step Backward for Open Research Data?

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, January 11 2012

University of California at Berkeley associate professor and Public Library of Science founder Michael Eisen notes a bill that would cripple efforts to create open access to taxpayer-funded research:

The Research Works Act would forbid the N.I.H. to require, as it now does, that its grantees provide copies of the papers they publish in peer-reviewed journals to the library. If the bill passes, to read the results of federally funded research, most Americans would have to buy access to individual articles at a cost of $15 or $30 apiece. In other words, taxpayers who already paid for the research would have to pay again to read the results.

This is the latest salvo in a continuing battle between the publishers of biomedical research journals like Cell, Science and The New England Journal of Medicine, which are seeking to protect a valuable franchise, and researchers, librarians and patient advocacy groups seeking to provide open access to publicly funded research.

Open access to research data has been shown to pay off in the past.

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