November 22, 2005


For Immediate Release
November 22, 2005

Contact: Jennifer Heffelfinger


Majority of NIH Public Access Working Group members also support
free availability of NIH-funded research papers within six months of publication

Washington, DC – The Alliance for Taxpayer Access, a national coalition of over 60 library, non-profit, and patient advocacy groups, today praised the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Working Group (PAWG) for recommending that researchers be required to deposit published articles resulting from NIH funding in PubMed Central (PMC), NIH’s online database of journal literature.

At a November 15 meeting of the working group, a majority of members also called for articles to be freely available in PMC within six months of their publication in a journal. The current NIH policy is voluntary for funding recipients and allows access to be delayed for up to one year.

Data presented to the working group indicates that less than five percent of eligible papers are being deposited in PMC. The Public Access Working Group’s recommendation is considered significant because of Congressional concern that the current policy has failed to achieve the goals set out by the policy. This past summer, the House and Senate called on NIH to report on the policy’s progress by early 2006.

The Public Access Working Group, which reports to the Board of Regents of NIH’s National Library of Medicine, includes publishers, societies, researchers, patient groups, and libraries. It was convened by NIH last May to inform the implementation of its Public Access Policy (

Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), says “We are pleased that the Public Access Working Group has pointed the way for NIH to achieve its goals of archiving NIH research, advancing science, and providing taxpayers with access to research.” SPARC is a founding member and administrator of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.


More information:

o A news report on the November 15 NIH Public Access Working Group meeting, “NIH Public Access Policy Should be Mandatory, Advisors Recommend,” appeared in Health News Daily (November 17, 2005).

o A list of the Public Access Group Working members is at

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access is a coalition of stakeholders who support reforms that will make publicly funded research accessible to the public. Formed in 2004, the Alliance played a leading role in the drive for free access on the Internet to peer-reviewed articles funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It is administered on behalf of Alliance members by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). Information on the Alliance may be found at Alliance members include:

AIDS Action Baltimore

AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition

American Association of Law Libraries

American Library Association

American Medical Student Association

Amherst College Library

Arthritis Foundation

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries

Association of College & Research Libraries

Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs

Association of Research Libraries

Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease and Congenital Hepatic Fibrosis Alliance (ARPKD/CHF Alliance)

Barth Syndrome Foundation

Boston College Libraries

Boston Library Consortium

Bowdoin College Library

Carnegie Mellon University Libraries

Chemists Without Borders

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation

CUNY – City College Libraries

Coalition for Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue

Colorado State University

Conquer Fragile X Syndrome

Denison University – William H. Doane Library

Down Syndrome Treatment and Research Foundation

Eastern Kentucky University Libraries

Emory University Libraries

Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)

Genetic Alliance

Global Neuroscience Inititative Foundation

Greater Western Library Alliance

International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association (IMDSA)

International Journal of Medical Sciences

IsoDicentric 15 Exchange, Advocacy and Support (IDEAS)

Kent State University Libraries

Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology

Loyola Univesity Chicago Libraries

Medical Education Online

Mycosis Fungoides Foundation

National Alliance for Autism Research

National Coalition for PKU & Allied Disorders

National Fragile X Foundation

National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association

New England Biolabs

Oberlin College

Ohio Library and Information Network

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

Prader-Willi Syndrome Association

Public Knowledge

Public Library of Science

Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum (PXE) International

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)

Special Libraries Association

Spina Bifida Association of America

Swarthmore College

Tourette Syndrome Association

Tufts University Libraries

University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries

University of Connecticut Libraries

University of Kansas

University of New Hampshire

University of Wisconsin – Madison Libraries

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh – Forrest R. Polk Library

Utah Academic Library Consortium

Wayne State University College of Nursing

Williams College Libraries

Jennifer Heffelfinger
Communications Specialist
(202) 296-2296 x121
Fax: (202) 872-0884

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