Contact the Senate about the Amendments to Delete or Weaken the NIH Public Access Policy

Use the ALA Action Alert to send a message to your Senator about the amendments to the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill that would delete or weaken the NIH Public Access Policy. Take action before noon on October 22.

Under "Compose Message" in the form, I suggest that you shorten the Subject to "Support the NIH Public Access Policy." As an "Issue Area" you might use "Budget" or "Health." Be sure to fill in your salutation and phone number; they are required to send an e-mail even though the form does not show them as required fields.

Cut and paste the below Alliance for Taxpayer Access text into the "Editable text to" section of the form as the message or write your own. If you use the below text, I'd suggest that you preface it with a short personalized message, such as: "I've been a resident of your district for [?] years, and, as a [?], I'm very concerned about the following issue." If you are speaking on behalf of an organization, mention this in your initial sentence. This will increase the impact of your message with Congressional staff.

I strongly urge you to OPPOSE proposed Amendments #3416 and
#3417 to the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and
Education Appropriations bill (S.1710). These amendments
would seriously impede public access to taxpayer-funded
biomedical research, stifling critical advancements in
lifesaving research and scientific discovery. The current
bill language was carefully crafted to balance the needs of
ALL stakeholders, and to ensure that the American public is
able to fully realize our collective investment in science.

To ensure public access to medical research findings,
language was included in the in the FY 2008 Labor, Health
and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill
directing the NIH to make a much-needed improvement to its
Public Access Policy -- requiring that NIH-funded
researchers deposit their manuscripts in the National
Library of Medicine's online database to be made publicly
available within one year of publication in a peer-reviewed
journal.  This change is supported by NIH Director Elias
Zerhouni, and a broad coalition of educational institutions,
scientific researchers, healthcare practitioners,
publishers, patient groups, libraries, and student groups --
representing millions of taxpayers seeking to advance
medical research.

Amendment #3416 would eliminate this important provision,
leaving only a severely weakened, voluntary NIH policy in
place. Under the voluntary policy (in place for more than
two years) less than 5% of individual researchers have
participated -- rendering the policy ineffective. The
language in Amendment #3417 would place even further
restrictions on the policy, ensuring that taxpayers -
including doctors and scientists - are unable to take full
advantage of this important public resource.

Supporting the current language in the FY08 LHHS
Appropriations Bill is the best way to ensure that
taxpayers' investment in NIH-funded research is used as
effectively as possible.  Taxpayer-funded NIH research
belongs to the American public. They have paid for it, and
it is for their benefit.

I urge you to join the millions of scientists, researchers,
libraries, universities, and patient and consumer advocacy
groups in supporting the current language in the FY08 LHHS
Appropriations bill and require NIH grantees to deposit in
PubMed Central final peer-reviewed manuscripts no later than
12 months following publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Vote NO on Amendments #3416 and #3417.