April 7th, 2011 will mark the third anniversary of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) highly successful Public Access Policy.
It’s the first U.S. policy to ensure that members of the public – including [the groups you believe benefit from access] – have guaranteed, free, online access to articles reporting on the results of research that their tax dollars support.
On behalf of [describe your organization], we ask that you consider immediately expanding the NIH Public Access Policy to all other Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) agencies.
Doing so will further enhance the value of the public’s annual $60 billion investment in scientific research.
[Why public access is important to your organization and how you have benefited from the success of the NIH policy]
The NIH policy simply requires that researchers who are funded by the NIH submit a copy of all final peer-reviewed article manuscripts that report on their research to the agency’s digital archive, PubMed Central (PMC).
PMC contains more than two million full text articles, which are accessed by nearly half a million users every day from all sectors of the public – highlighting the demand for this important layer of information.
Just as critically, the full-text digital articles now contained in PubMed Central are linked to a wide array of other publicly accessible databases at the NIH, facilitating the ability to move seamlessly between articles and data, and apply new and cutting-edge computational tools and techniques to the entire collection of NIH-funded research results.
The expansion of the NIH policy to other HHS agencies will open up connections to additional crucial resources that our nation’s scientists require to carry out truly comprehensive biomedical research in this digital age.
Requiring public access to articles reporting on the results of HHS-funded research results will also ensure that all members of the public have fast and fair access to the results of the research that their tax dollars support – and for which the success of the NIH policy demonstrates a deep demand.
Thanks and invitation to discuss further.
The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Health and Human Services