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Leading groups offer NIH direct links to journals to make research access easy for public

(October 25, 2005) Rockville, MD Fifty-seven of the nation's leading medical and scientific nonprofit publishers today announced they have offered a proposal to Elias Zerhouni, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that would allow the NIH to bring vast amounts of research findings to the public efficiently and at no cost.

In a joint letter to Dr. Zerhouni, the group detailed a plan that would allow the NIH to provide online access to articles on their journal websites using the existing system of links from abstracts that are indexed on NIH's Medline. The transparent linking system would make it easier for the public to view more than 1 million research articles and would avert the need to create a new taxpayer-funded publishing infrastructure within the NIH.

The public-private partnership being proposed by the non-profit publishers would fulfill the NIH's goal to provide complete public access to all NIH-funded research. It also would allow seamless online access to a staggering amount of additional scientific and medical research, including 1 million free research articles from science, social sciences and the humanities, more than15,000 additional free articles each month, and a library of 1.7 million full-text research articles dating to 1849.

"Overnight and at no cost to taxpayers, this proposal will make it easy for the public to access vast amounts of the most accurate scientific and medical information available," said Chris Lynch, vice president of publishing for the Massachusetts Medical Society, which publishes the New England Journal of Medicine. "Essentially, what we are proposing is for the NIH to become the public's doorway into the universe of research that non-profit publishers already provide to the public everyday."

The proposal was conceived, in part, in response to the NIH's implementation of its "Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH Funded Research"
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25-Oct-2005


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