NIH gets serious

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

First came voluntary. Then came mandatory. And now, four years after the National Institutes of Health required that all research papers be made freely available within a year of publication, comes enforcement.

The NIH, in a statement issued on Friday, said that beginning in about five months, it would block the renewal of grant awards in cases where journal publications arising from the award do not comply with its open-access rule.

Here's a bit of what NIH has to say in the notice that was published last Friday:

With this Notice, NIH informs grantees that in Spring, 2013, at the earliest, NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy.  The award will not be processed until recipients have demonstrated compliance.  This change will take effect in tandem with NIH requiring the use of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPRs) for all Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship awards in the Spring of 2013 (see NIH NOT-OD-12-142).

NIH will simultaneously implement the procedural change outlined below to facilitate public access reporting in paper progress reports (PHS 2590) submitted on or after this 'to be announced' spring date. 

New Tools
NIH made changes to My NCBI that improve the workflow and communication between PD/PIs and non- PD/PI authors.  It is now easier for PD/PIs to track compliance of all papers arising from their awards, even they do not author those papers.   (See for details).

If you have NIH funding and you've been complying with the public access policy, congratulations and keep up the good work. If you have NIH funding and haven't been complying, it's time to get yourself over to MyNCBI and get with the program.