Alliance welcomes the National Academy of Sciences endorsement of the NIH proposal
Washington, D.C.—The Alliance for Taxpayer Access today enthusiastically welcomed the endorsement of the National Academy of Sciences for the proposal by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide “open access” to taxpayer-supported biomedical research.
The NAS statement issued yesterday, specifically endorsing the NIH initiative, concludes by saying, “We reaffirm our conviction that the interests of science—both in biomedicine and other areas—are best served by ensuring that ideas and information are exchanged as freely and rapidly as possible. We look forward to participating in the continuing evolution of scientific publishing, and we applaud the NIH for taking this important step.”
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access was formed last month by stakeholders to partner with the National Institutes of Health and Congress to ensure that peer-reviewed articles on taxpayer-funded research at NIH become fully accessible and available online and at no extra cost to the American public.
Rick Johnson, coordinator of the Alliance, expressed belief that the National Academy of Sciences announcement yesterday sends a profound message from America’s scientific leaders. Johnson said, “Science and the public benefit go hand in hand, and this policy affirms that partnership.”
“The National Academy’s influence over sound science policy is undisputed,” Johnson added. “Today, by joining with public interest stakeholders, they give profound weight to the true significance of ‘open access.’ They acknowledge, as we do, that NIH has taken a reasonable and measured approach that balances the interests and objectives of the scientific community with the legitimate interests of scientific publishing.”
The Alliance’s goals were given added strength last month as well through the unprecedented letter of endorsement given to Capitol Hill and the NIH by 25 leading Nobel laureates. In their August 26, 2004 letter, the Nobelists wrote, “Science is the measure of the human race’s progress. As scientists and taxpayers too, we therefore object to barriers that hinder, delay or block the spread of scientific knowledge supported by federal tax dollars—including our own works.”