NIH Weighs Bold Plan for Online Preprint Publishing

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Science  12 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5408, pp. 1610-1611
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5408.1610

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is considering throwing its weight--and money--behind an ambitious Web-based publishing venture that could radically change the way biology papers are disseminated. Harold Varmus, director of the NIH, revealed at a congressional hearing last week that he likes the idea of building a one-stop, public source for biomedical research papers, and he's been exploring ways of doing it. NIH leaders are not ready to discuss specifics because their proposal is still in its infancy. They want to avoid false steps, knowing that almost anything they propose will be seen as a threat to traditional journals. But they are drawing up plans this spring.