Open access looks about to pass a significant milestone with a bill in USA Congress which requires open access to National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded outputs. While NIH funded research is only a small fraction of the peer review funded research globally, it’s one of the largest coordinated research programs with huge inertia, both externally and internally. It seems likely that all significant medical and genetics peer review publication forums will be open access in the near future. NIH also funds work in a whole range of disciplines which impact on human health, so they’ll receive an open access boost too.
Such a big win is built on the work of a whole lot of individuals and groups world-wide, including Stevan Harnad (long term open access über-evangelist) and the JISC funded Sherpa, OpenDOAR and ePrints projects. Congratulations guys.