Tell Congress to Reject the Research Works Act!

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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 dollars.

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.

Please ask Congress to fight this bill and uphold our free access to scientific data.

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