The UK appears to be following the lead of the US mandating open access to all publicly funded research starting April 2013. See [Nature Blog].
On December 26, 2007 President Bush signed into law mandatory compliance with National Institute of Health's (NIH) public access policy, formerly voluntary only, so it now requires all NIH funded research to be publicly accessible at the National Library of Medicine's free web site Pubmed Central.
SEC. 218. The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require 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.For more information see Open Access Central. Also the NIH has created a new part of their web site devoted to Open Access here.
Trend Toward Open AccessThe trends clearly favor open access with open access papers in medical journals relating to cancer rising from 7.2% to 8.8% of all cancer papers in the year ending July 2008 according to Biomed Central. See this [blog post]. Note that both US Presidential candidates have pledged to double NIH funding (see McCain Obama) and since all NIH funded research is now open access this promises to sharply increase the amount of research that patients have access to.
April 7, 2008 updateThe policy goes into effect today! This is very good news for patients wanting access to medical research.
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