Tuesday 22 April 2008

NIH mandate

I was rudely awakened by a smoke alarm this morning.

Fortunately it was a malfunction rather than a fire but it meant that I spent dawn today checking some facts online for a document that I am writing on the open access mandate that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented on 7 April.

I was delighted to see that the top ranked result when I Googled 'NIH mandate' (from the UK at least*) was not the open access policy pages of the NIH, nor even comments by Stevan Harnad but was in fact Priscilla Markwood's thought provoking Editorial 'The NIH mandate - we're not in Kansas any more' in the April 2008 issue of Learned Publishing. Credit and kudos to both the author and the search engine optimization talents of our colleagues at IngentaConnect!

Priscilla's Editorial - which outlines the threats to smaller society publishers and postulates that the Open Access movement may actually help to strengthen commercial publishers - is well worth a read.

* Of course, Google's mystical algorithm means that you get different results from google.com depending on where you are located....

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