In the past much scientific research (funded by your hard-earned tax payer dollars through NIH) has been published solely in journals that have required a paid subscription. This has limited the public, patients and advocacy groups to access important scientific information. Now a new rule mandates that publications from all public-funded research must be submitted to Pubmed Central within 1 year. Pubmed Central is a free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences publications operated by the NIH.
This new mandate is a great step forward in allowing the public free access to publication and research studies that they have funded. The limitation, however, is that we unfortunately have to wait at least one year to access this information. This limitation is still too long, especially for patients who suffer from orphan diseases or for advocacy groups to adequately inform the public.
The time of free public access to scientific publications should be shortened to 3 months instead of one year. This would allow publishing companies to still make profits on their journals, but also allow the public to access important scientific information in a reasonable time frame. Since we pay for the research, free access to the results of such scientific studies within three months of publication should not be at all unreasonable.
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