Move will add 110,000 new papers to PubMed every year

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a plan to expand how its agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), make research results freely available to scientists and the public. It builds upon the NIH’s requirement that scientific papers that it funds should be made open access within 12 months of publication. Specifically, the HHS is demanding that researchers supported not only by the NIH, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and its other agencies, deposit their articles on PubMed Central within a year.

The HHS estimates that its new policy will add around 110,000 new papers every year to the 3 million open access publications already available through PubMed. ‘The addition of these agencies will increase the corpus of available research to include new topics such as: comparative effectiveness, emergency preparedness, public health, environmental health, and toxicological research,’ the department said. The new rules will become effective by the end of the calendar year, according to HHS chief Sylvia Burwell.

Further, the HHS is also requiring that research data be made publically accessible in a digital format. At a minimum, this data underlying these journal articles will need to be available at the time of publication. To help achieve this goal, the department’s agencies will ask investigators to submit plans in their initial research proposals that outline how their data will be managed and shared.