Washington Update

NIH Seeks Input on Enhancing Public Access to Agency-Supported Research

By: Yvette Seger
Thursday, March 9, 2023
On February 21, National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued an updated plan to enhance public access to the results of research funded by the agency. While NIH has had a Public Access Policy in place since 2008, the current update reflects a directive issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to update agency policies to “make publications and supporting data resulting from federally funded research publicly accessible without an embargo on their free and public release.” The revised NIH Public Access Policy builds upon the agency’s updated Data Management and Sharing Policy, which went into effect earlier this year.

In a blog post co-authored by NIH leaders, it was noted that the updated public access plan is “a roadmap of steps NIH will take to enhance access to research products.” To that end, the policy was accompanied by Request for Information seeking input on four issues related to scholarly publications: (1) strategies to ensure equity in publication opportunities for NIH-supported investigators; (2) steps to improve equity in access and accessibility of publications; (3) methods for monitoring evolving costs and impacts on affected communities; and (4) input on considerations to increase findability and transparency of research. Responses will be accepted through April 24.