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AAP Says Enactment of NIH Mandate on Journal Articles Undermines IP Rights Essential to Science Publishing

AAP issued a statement on January 3 criticizing a controversial new NIH research publication policy that was enacted as part of the omnibus appropriations package for 2008. Under the previous voluntary NIH policy, NIH-funded researchers who wrote articles for publication in scientific journals were “requested” to submit an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts to NIH immediately upon acceptance by a journal for publication, so that the agency could make it freely available to the international online world through its PubMedCentral web site no more than 12 months after the date of journal publication.  The new policy will make such submission mandatory, which as AAP’s vice president for government and legal affairs Allan Adler noted “eliminates the concept of permission, and effectively allows the agency to take important publisher property interests without compensation.”

The statement reaffirmed the commitment of journal publishers who have opposed the policy to continue pursuing their concerns with Congress regarding the policy’s negative impact on science publishing and the protection of related intellectual property rights. Publishers will also urge NIH to conduct a rulemaking proceeding, with opportunity for public comment, before implementing the new policy.

The complete statement can be found at:

http://www.publishers.org/main/PressCenter/NIHMandatoryPolicy.htm