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Mandating Access: Assessing the NIH's Public Access Policy

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  • Staudt, Joseph

Abstract

In 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) mandated that the full text of NIH-supported articles be made freely available on PubMed Central (PMC) -- the largest and most commonly used repository of biomedical literature. This paper examines how this "PMC mandate" impacted publishing patterns in biomedicine and researcher access to the biomedical literature. Using ~1 million NIH articles and several matched comparison samples, I find that NIH articles are more likely to be published in traditional subscription-based journals (as opposed to "open access" journals) after the mandate. This indicates that the mandate did not induce widespread discrimination, by subscription-based journals, against NIH articles. I also find that the mandate did not increase the number of forward citations to NIH articles published in subscription-based journals. This is consistent with researchers having widespread access to the biomedical literature prior to the mandate, leaving little room for the mandate to increase access.

Suggested Citation

  • Staudt, Joseph, 2017. "Mandating Access: Assessing the NIH's Public Access Policy," MPRA Paper 82981, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:82981
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economics of science; open access; nih; nih public access policy; policy evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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