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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

  Advancing Scholarly Communication Contact:
Julia Blixrud
New Models

Implementing Public Access Policies

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Funding institutions, both public and private, have an interest in promoting barrier-free access to the scholarly resources created by their funding. A number of such agencies in the US and Europe have developed policies—usually referred to as “public access policies”—that support free public access to scholarly research.

Funding bodies are increasingly requiring the deposit of articles based on funded research into a publicly accessible repository after some embargo period. In addition, some agencies have provided funds to promote open access by payment of author fees.

Examples of funding agencies developing policies on public access and open access:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), requires that NIH-funded journal articles be available to the public on PubMed Central.

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), offers a public access policy that states that all papers funded by CIHR must be freely available online

  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) requires that the articles it funds be available freely online and has an agreement to pay the processing charges if published in BioMed Central.

  • Wellcome Trust, the United Kingdom's leading biomedical research-funding charity, now encourages the formation of open access journals and repositories and commits the trust to paying publication charges for Wellcome Trust–funded research “by permitting Trust researchers to use contingency funds for this purpose"

  • The eight UK Research Councils, under the umbrella of Research Councils UK (RCUK), have proposed that research papers arising from council-funded work be deposited in openly available repositories.

Public Access Advocacy