Recent News


October 2013 news item – HRA selected as one of 30 high-impact organizations supporting open/public access, as part of the Accelerating Science Awards Program (ASAP) sponsored by the Public Library of Science, Google, Wellcome Trust and others.  The ASAP program recognizes individuals who have used, applied or remixed scientific research – published though Open Access – to make a difference in science, medicine, business, technology or society as a whole.  For more about the program and a list of recipients see the ASAP website.

January 2013 news item – HRA selected as a SPARC Innovator by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition: SPARC has named the Health Research Alliance as its January 2013 SPARC Innovator for its efforts in promoting the sharing of scientific information to the nonprofit community. “HRA’s deep commitment to providing broad accessibility to the results of the critical research that their members fund is inspiring,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, in announcing this recognition. “Their work to educate member organizations on the benefits of expanded access, to develop strong and pragmatic policy recommendations and also to contribute to the creation of infrastructure to implement such policies make them an exemplary model for other research funders.” For the complete announcement, visit this link.

An overview of HRA and public access

In 2011, the HRA Discovery Science Working Group formed a Public Access Task Group to explore how HRA could facilitate the adoption of public access policies by interested member organizations. The Task Group’s exploration led to the HRA Public Access Initiative implemented in 2012.

For information for awardees of HRA member organizations participating in the Public Access Initiative, see below.

“Public access” is different from “open access.” “Public access” refers to unrestricted access to a publication in a public online repository, often following an embargo period imposed by the publisher. “Open access” implies not only public access, but also includes free and unrestricted re-use of information. Users are permitted to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of the article(s), to crawl them for indexing, to pass them as data to software, or use them for any lawful purpose (Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2/14/2002).

A number of private funders are interested in increasing access to publications resulting from the research they fund, to further advance research in their area of focus. HRA member organizations are also eager to reliably identify publications resulting from the research they fund, for program evaluation, as evidence for their constituents and boards of directors that their resources are being used to accomplish their mission, and other purposes. To assist HRA member organizations interested in adopting public access policies, the HRA Public Access Initiative makes available a variety of resources, including a public access policy template, a Research Funder Guide, arrangements with the National Library of Medicine for HRA funders participating in the initiative to use the PubMedCentral repository, and an “authentication portal” that provides information about grants from HRA member organizations to the NIH Manuscript Submission System.

Additional information about HRA’s Public Access Initiative is available to HRA member organizations in the Members Only portion of this website, and to others by contacting HRA.

Resources for awardees of HRA member organizations

Overview: If your funding organization has directed you to this link, this means that your funding organization is participating in HRA’s Public Access Initiative. Once your organization has uploaded the required information about your grant to the gHRAsp database (Grants in the Health Research Alliance Shared Portfolio), you will receive a reminder from your funder to visit the HRA Authentication Portal page in gHRAsp, where you will be asked to log in with your Gmail address (Google and the NIH Manuscript Submission System both use the same Open ID technology). Once you log in, you will be asked to search for your grants, which will link them to your Gmail account. When you have an accepted manuscript to deposit to PubMed Central, you will use the NIH Manuscript Submission System just as you do for manuscripts resulting from NIH grants. When you log in with your Gmail address you will then search for your grants in the NIH Manuscript Submission system. Your grant from your HRA-member funder should appear for you to link your publication to that grant.

A note on copyright: It is important for you to make publishers aware of the public access condition associated with your funded research at the earliest possible opportunity. Standard publication agreements offered by publishers may assign all rights to the publisher, but you need to reserve the right to deposit the manuscript to PubMed Central in order to meet your funder’s requirements. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, SPARC, offers resources on copyright for authors, as well as a model addendum to publication agreements that authors can use to reserve the necessary rights.