In the wake of the signed omnibus bill that funds NIH and ensures open deposition of NIH-funded research, here are some thoughtful questions:
Why the NIH bill does not require copyright violation:
The great advantage of the requirement to deposit in Pubmed (rather than simply to expose on a publisher or other website) is that the act is clear. You can’t “half-deposit” in Pubmed. They have the resources to decide whether any copyright statement allows the appropriate use of the information or is suffiently restrrictive that it does not meet the NIH rules.
At some stage the community will get tired of the continual drain on innovation set by the current approach to publihing. Whether when that happens many publishers will be left is unclear.
So, while Cinderella_Open_Access may be going to the ball is Cinderella_Open_Data still sitting by the ashes hoping that she’ll get a few leftovers from the party?
A final question is perhaps the most difficult: How do we identify journals offering acceptable levels of peer review? Who’s to say whether a given journal is good enough? After all, even the most rigorous scholarly journals sometimes make errors — indeed, one of the most important parts of the scientific process is identifying and correcting problems in earlier work. Indeed, too rigorous a standard of peer review can stifle research just as much as too lax a standard.