Open Access: It’s the Funding, Stupid

Related to a point I made about funding and open science, DrugMonkey explains how the real stumbling blocks to open access publishing are funding agencies (boldface mine):

This whole thing is getting ridiculous. I don’t have the unfettered freedom to decide where to publish my stuff and it most certainly is an outcome of the funding agency, in my case the NIH.

Here are the truths that we hold to be self-evident at present time. The more respected the journal in which we publish our work, the better the funding agency “likes” it. This encompasses the whole process from initial peer review of the grant applications, to selection for funding (sometimes via exception pay) to the ongoing review of program officers. It extends not just from the present award, but to any future awards I might be seeking to land.

Where I publish matters to them. They make it emphatically clear in ever-so-many-ways that the more prestigious the journal (which generally means higher IF, but not exclusively this), the better my chances of being continuously funded.

We will have open access only when funding agencies want it. DrugMonkey is correct, and it should be that self-evident. They’re the pressure point, not the publishers.

Related: Ian Holmes has some good thoughts about this too.

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2 Responses to Open Access: It’s the Funding, Stupid

  1. namnezia says:

    Funding agencies, at least the NIH, already require open accessed to published, NIH funded material. This is from their website:

    “In accordance with Division F Section 217 of PL 111-8 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009), the NIH Public Access Policy (NOT-OD-08-033) remains a legislative mandate for FY 2009 and beyond. The law states:

    SEC. 217. 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.

    Compliance with this Policy remains a statutory requirement and a term and condition of the grant award and cooperative agreement, in accordance with the NIH Grants Policy Statement. For contracts, NIH includes this requirement in all R&D solicitations and awards under Section H, Special Contract Requirements, in accordance with the Uniform Contract Format.”

    They post information on how to go about doing this here:

  2. drugmonkey says:

    And yet, Namnezia, the implementation was a crippled measure that was designed solely to continue the viability of existing toll access journals. Why is that, do you suppose?

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