FABBS Comments on NIH RFI to Enhance Public Access to the Research Results 

FABBS responded to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Request for Information (RFI) seeking stakeholder input on the agency’s plan to enhance public access to the results of NIH funded research.

[See FABBS response in the joint letter.]

The RFI represented the first step to meet the goals outlined in the August 2022 memorandum issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to ensure free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research. FABBS has been in regular communication with federal funding agencies to discuss how proposed policies and practices might affect our disciplines. 

In our comments, FABBS expressed support for the principles of increasing open access to publications resulting from federally funded research. FABBS pointed to the Behavioral Medicine Research Council (BMRC) statement on open Science in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine and specifically the concerns raised about equity in open access publications models. Underscoring the ultimate goals of open science to improve rigor, impact, accessibility, and equity, FABBS raised some of the challenges of sharing data and research in ways that are findable and transparent. Comments recognized the need for significant work to develop ontologies in the behavioral sciences and applauded the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research and the National Academies of Science for initiating work in this area.  

FABBS also joined a community sign-on letter led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which similarly supported the goals while cautioning NIH about the potential for unintended, inequitable, consequences. The statement encourages NIH to “balance reader access to published work with researchers’ ability to publish.”