Optimize the NIH Mandate Now: Deposit Institutionally, Harvest Centrally.
On December 26 2007 a mandate to self-archive all NIH-funded research articles became US law. However, the benefits of Congress's wise decision to mandate deposit immediately upon acceptance for publication are lost if that deposit is required to be made directly in PubMed Central, rather than in each author's own Institutional Repository (and thence harvested to PubMed Central): With direct IR deposit, authors can use their own IR's "email eprint request" button to fulfill would-be users' access needs during any embargo. And, most important of all, with direct IR deposit mandated by NIH, each of the world's universities and research institutions can go on to complement the NIH self-archiving mandate for the NIH-funded fraction of its research output with an institutional mandate to deposit the rest of its research output, likewise to be deposited in its own IR. This will systematically scale up to 100% OA.
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