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Student talking points and contact information for letters to NIH Director Collins

The following talking points are for use in conjunction with the call to action issued March 30, 2011. As always, please adapt and expand as needed to suit your unique voice.

  • [Describe your organization]

  • Offer congratulations as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) marks the third anniversary of its highly successful Public Access Policy. 

  • Note that the NIH and Director Collins have shown tremendous leadership in implementing the first U.S. policy to ensure that all students and other members of the public – including patients and their families, health care professionals, researchers, entrepreneurs and business owners – are guaranteed free online access to articles reporting on the results of research that their tax dollars support.

  • As result of the NIH’s commitment to public access, every student can now take advantage of an invaluable new resource in the more than two million full-text articles in PubMed Central (PMC).  

  • [Describe you and/or your organization’s interests and use of PMC and why this is important for you]

  • Due to the high and increasing cost of many journals, students are often forced to make do with the fraction of journals their institution can afford rather than what they need. Furthermore, educators cannot teach what they cannot read, meaning inaccessible articles don’t find their way into the classes in which they should be taught.

  • The NIH public access policy allows all students and educators access to the results of NIH-funded research that are crucial for a complete, up-to-date education in biomedical fields, regardless of their institution’s ability to pay for journal subscriptions.

  • We ask that you consider shortening the embargo period for accessing articles reporting on NIH-funded research to six months or less.  

  • A six-month embargo will significantly enhance students’ ability to get the most up-to-date education.  With the fast pace of biomedical research, a shorter embargo period means students can hit the ground running after graduation rather than relying on potentially outdated information.

  • [Add your own conclusion]

  • [Thanks and offer of follow up]   


Dr. Francis Collins
Director, National Institutes of Health

1 Center Drive, MSC 0148 (Room 126)
Bethesda, MD 20892-0148 
Fax: 301-402-2700

The Right to Research Coalition has partnered with the Alliance for Taxpayer Access to host our legislative action center. Links on this page will take you to our template letters within the ATA's action center.
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