NHMRC to mandate open access to research

By Tim Dean
Thursday, 23 February, 2012

The push towards open access publishing has received a boost with the CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) declaring that soon mandate that all research funded by the body will be placed into an open access repository 12 months after publication.

Writing on The Conversation, NHMRC CEO Warwick Anderson stated that:

“NHMRC has updated its policy on open access to published research, aligning us with the practices of other international health and medical research funders such as the UN National Institutes of Health, the UK Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

“From July this year, we will be mandating the deposit of publication outputs arising from NHMRC funded research into an institutional repository within 12 months of publication.”

This comes after a recent push by international researchers to boycott the world’s largest scientific publisher Elsevier, which charges high fees for access to journals and last year reported a 36 per cent profit margin.

Currently over 7000 researchers have signed up to the boycott.

Professor Anderson also stated that the NHRMC will be improving public access to publicly funded research, with the council being a signatory to the Joint Statement on Data Sharing of Public Health Research issued by the Wellcome Trust.

This makes a commitment to “increase the availability to the scientific community of the research data we fund that is collected from populations for the purpose of health research.”

The NHMRC is currently working on the details of the open access policy, which is expected to go live around the middle of this year.

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