ARC and NHMRC encourage access to research findings

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Summary media release information

18 January 2007
Media Release
Contact for further information: 
Monique Mahoney (NHMRC) 02 6217 9342 Fiona Skivington (ARC) 0412 623 057
The Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today called on researchers to make the results of research funded by the Australian Government publicly available, whenever possible and appropriate.

The ARC and NHMRC Chief Executive Officers are keen to ensure that research findings are available to other researchers and to the community.

“The Australian Government makes a major annual investment in research to support its essential role in improving the wellbeing of our society,” NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said.
“We are committed to ensuring the Australian community has access to the outcomes of government-funded research.  And by making research findings widely available, we are also improving our ability to translate research findings into real benefits for the community.
“Accordingly, we encourage researchers, at the earliest opportunity, to deposit their data and any publications arising from government-funded research in an appropriate repository that has free public access.”

“The ARC and NHMRC know that researchers take into account many factors when deciding where to publish government funded research—for example the status and reputation of a journal or publisher, and the likely impact of their work on users of research,” the ARC’s CEO, Professor Peter Høj, said.

“We also know that researchers may, in some cases, be bound due to commercial sensitivities and restrictions by publishers. But even in the latter case, free access could possibly be made available after a period of subscription access only.

“We are hopeful that work with publishers will lead to development of viable business models that accommodate the need for a sustainable peer review based publication system and much enhanced access to the data and publications arising from publicly-funded research.”

Together, the ARC and NHMRC invest more than $1 billion in research funding each year. They are the key advisers to the Government on research and administer several thousand research projects across all disciplines at any given time. Both organisations require regular reports from funding recipients on the status of their publicly-funded research.