The new law requiring NIH-funded research to be open access within 1 year of publication has been signed. I still think 1 year is a bit long, but hey, who ever said compromise was a bad thing? From the blurb:
President Bush has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007 (H.R. 2764), which includes a provision directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide the public with open online access to findings from its funded research. This is the first time the U.S. government has mandated public access to research funded by a major agency. The provision directs the NIH to change its existing Public Access Policy, implemented as a voluntary measure in 2005, so that participation is required for agency-funded investigators. Researchers will now be required to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central. Full texts of the articles will be publicly available and searchable online in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.A step in the right direction - combined with the recent backtracking from the Canadian government on the spooky new Copyright legislation, I would say 2007 hasn't been all bad for unfettered access to information essential to an open and healthy society: Happy New Year!