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Access to Moonshot Work

Researchers who receive grants through the US National Cancer Institute's Cancer Moonshot program will have to make their papers immediately accessible to the public, ScienceInsider reports. This, it adds, differs from the usual National Institutes of Health policy that allows a one-year delay in access.

President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Cancer Moonshot initiative in 2016 during his final State of the Union address, and then-Vice President Joe Biden, whose son Beau had recently died of brain cancer, took the lead of the $1.8 billion program.

ScienceInsider notes that Biden appeared to embrace data sharing. "Imagine if… we said we will no longer conceal cancer's secrets in… paywalled journals with restricted databases, and instead make all that we know open to everyone so that the world can join the global campaign to end cancer in our lifetimes?" he said at the 2016 American Association for Cancer Research meeting, according to ScienceInsider.

Now, it adds, NCI is requiring researchers funded through the program to make their papers immediately accessible to the public by either publishing in open-access or hybrid journals. ScienceInsider notes that this requirement is only for Moonshot grants, but that NCI is looking at it as a sort of pilot program for the whole institute.