Answered By: Vika Zafrin
Last Updated: May 12, 2015     Views: 5

The U.S. government’s increasing push for open access to taxpayer-funded research is one factor that has contributed to the changes in the scholarly communication environment. Other factors include the rise of networked communications over the last several decades, and the unsustainable journal pricing increases of the same time period.


The NIH Public Access policy, which requires that all publicly funded research be made openly accessible 12 months after publication, was initially opt-in (essentially optional). Compliance rate was around 4%. Since it became mandatory, and further funding began to depend on prior compliance, access to taxpayer-funded research has greatly improved. The benefit of this to society is difficult to overestimate.

For the first several years of its existence, BU’s open access policy was also opt-in. Compliance rate was less than 1%. We anticipate a similarly dramatic boost in compliance, and therefore impact of BU research in the world, after the opt-out policy is adopted.

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