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Two members of
Congress have introduced HR 3699, the
Research Works Act. This bill would prevent the National Institutes of Health or
any other agency from causing or even allowing
private-sector research work to be disseminated online without prior consent of
both the publisher and the study authors—even if the funding came from our tax
In 2008, the NIH required
that all federally funded research publications be made openly available. PubMedCentral
(PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal
literature at the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine.
The publishers of the journals are allowed a full year of journal sales before
their research papers must be posted on PMC, which lets them keep their
subscriber base, but they lobbied to reverse the requirement to post their
research online for free.
If this bill
passes, Americans who want to read the results of federally funded research
will have to buy access to each journal article individually—at a cost of $15
or $30 apiece—even though we paid for the research in the first place. Consumers,
integrative doctors, and small
businesses might not have the funds to access all these scientific
journals—which means your access to the science behind natural products will be
limited to what mainstream medicine may wish you to know.
Congress to fight this bill and uphold our free access to scientific data.
personalize your message if you have the time!)
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]