The Research Works Act

On December 16, 2011, Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced "The Research Works Act" ( H.R. 3699) which would turn back the NIH Public Access Policy. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Details of the Bill:
  • Would prohibit federal agencies from conditioning their grant funding to require that all members of the public be guaranteed online access to the research findings that their tax dollars fund;
  • Would reverse the NIH Public Access Policy and stifle critical advancements in life-saving research and scientific discovery;
  • The NIH Public Access Policy currently provides millions of Americans with access to vital health care information from the NIH PubMed Central database;
    • Under this policy, more than 90,000 new biomedical manuscripts are deposited for public accessibility each year
  • H.R. 3699 would prohibit the deposit of these manuscripts, seriously impeding the ability of researchers, physicians, healthcare professionals and patients from accessing and using this health-related information in a timely manner;
  • H.R. 3699 would also affect scientific research coming from other federal agencies including information on energy, the environment, climate change, and other areas that impact the well being of the public.
If you oppose this, please contact your House Member. Depending on where you live in the Triangle area, you can contact Congressman David E. Price (4th District) or Congressman Brad Miller (13th District). To search for other House Members, visit http://www.house.gov/.

Tips for communicating with congressional offices:

1. Identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak with the House member’s Health Care Legislative Assistant.
2. Tell the aide that you understand and benefit from the programs and services of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, including the NIH Public Access Policy.
3. Ask the senator to oppose H.R. 3699.
4. Briefly explain why the policy is important to you.
5. Give the aide your contact information and ask to be informed about the actions of the legislator on these key issues.