The 2009 Consolidated Appropriations Act signed by Obama this week includes a provision that makes permanent the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy. This policy requires NIH-funded research to put electronic copies of their peer-reviewed research into a publicly accessible and searchable online database.

(Thanks to the Alliance for Taxpayer Access for this news and work in this area.)

This is a smart policy that benefits everyone and is consistent with the idea of public access to government-funded work.

This is a policy for the education community to consider emulating. There are many great publicly-funded projects in education that exist in isolation and unknown to others. If these projects were publicly accessible and sharable, the benefits would accrue to the community at large. I don’t know any educators who would object to that.

Even more interesting, if publicly-funded curriculum were open licensed and centrally housed and managed, this could be an important step to beginning a revolution in the textbook industry. If a large portion of the money that is spent on textbooks were redirected toward professional development, customization, and alternative delivery systems, the benefits for teachers and students would be great.

Making publicly-funded work open

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.