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Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age
Another relevant trend is the growth in open access mandates for published research that have been initiated by research sponsors and research institutions. The most significant of these was adopted in early 2008 by NIH, having been mandated by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 and made permanent in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009.44 The NIH policy provides that:
The Director of the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) shall require in the current fiscal year and thereafter that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, that the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.” 45
Research institutions are also adopting open access recommendations for faculty research, encouraging faculty to provide electronic copies of their articles for submission to an institutional or other open access repository, generally with an embargo period of 6 to 12 months. This is an international trend, with research institutions or sponsors (both public and private) adopting open access publication recommendations in Europe, Canada, Australia, and India.46
The issues raised by the changing environment for scholarly publishing are the subject of continued, vigorous debate. Although they are not within the task statement of this study, it is necessary to review them in this context because access to scholarly publications is related to access to research data at several levels. For example, institutional and governmental repositories that support access to, and stewardship of, faculty articles may serve the same function for data (the data stewardship function of repositories is discussed in Chapter 4). It is also important to note the distinctions between open access to data and open access to publications. Traditional access STM publishers that might look unfavorably on open access publication mandates might support practices and guidelines encouraging open access to data.47 Open access mandates for data, to be discussed in the next section, are distinct from open access mandates for publications.
See International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers. 2009. Briefing Document (for Publishing Executives) on Institutional Repositories and Mandated Deposit Policies. January; International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers. 2006. Databases, Datasets, and Data Accessibility—Views and Practices of Scholarly Publishers. June. Available at http://www.stm-assoc.org/documents-statements-public-co/.