Around Christmas, mandatory open access for NIH-funded research was signed into law:
The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.
Starting April 7, the new NIH Public Access Policy implementing this law will take effect for most NIH grantees. The NIH is soliciting comments until May 1st for this new policy. Open Access and this new policy are complicated topics that simply can't be covered in a single blog post. This week will certainly see a lot of discussion on this topic, both on Nature Network and elsewhere. Please state your view on the topic either in blog entries or join the discussion in the Publishing in the New Millenium Forum. I will try to summarize (some) of the discussion at the end of this Public Access Week.