“Under NHMRC’s revised Open Access Policy, all peer-reviewed publications arising from NHMRC-funded research must be made available immediately upon publication, removing the 12-month embargo period. They must also be published with the use of an open licence, which means publications can be used and shared widely.
These requirements apply to all new grants awarded under NHMRC Grant Opportunity Guidelines issued from 20 September 2022, and will be phased in for all other NHMRC grants, with full implementation by 1 January 2024.
NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO said that making publicly-funded research available as soon as possible supports knowledge sharing and rapid innovation. It also advances human health in Australia and globally, as witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. …
Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is the first Australian organisation to join cOAlition S and the country’s first funding agency to introduce the requirement that scholarly publications arising from the research it funds must be made freely available and accessible.
“The NHMRC proposed the change in April (CMM April 16) but now advises that, “while NHMRC remains committed to this path, we will not be making revisions to our policy for implementation from 1 January 2022 as originally planned.”
So, what happened to timing intended “to bring the policy into alignment with the growing international shift towards open access publishing”?
The NHMRC is not telling, although it does report stakeholder responses to its prop, which include concerns about what publisher will do and calls for the council to pay “article processing charges,” (aka gold open access). (The council diplomatically points out that, “some, but not all, submissions recognised that open access publication costs are an allowable expense under NHMRC grants.”) …”
“Last month the National Health and Medical Research Council sought submissions on going immediate OA on publication. If publishers refuse the council suggested authors’ accepted manuscripts could be made available by named institutional repositories (CMM April 16).
Which is good, but Drs Kingsley and Smith (both ex Cambridge University’s Office of Scholarly Communication) suggest tighter wording to make intent impossible to ignore.
And they call for checks, which institutions could use to make sure OA actually occurs. “There is evidence that even ‘light touch’ compliance checking results in significant behavioural change,” they write. Especially if “there is a significant consequence for non-compliance,” – which could be tying grants to OA rules….”
“NHMRC supports the sharing of outputs from NHMRC funded research including publications and data. The aims of the NHMRC Open Access Policy are to mandate the open access sharing of publications and encourage innovative open access to research data. This policy also requires that patents resulting from NHMRC funding be made findable through listing in SourceIP….
NHMRC is seeking input from relevant stakeholders about proposed revisions to the Open Access Policy and Further Guidance. The proposed revisions are limited to sections of the documents about publications….”