Development of an Automated Notification System for the National Institutes of Health's Public Access Policy Non-Compliance

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  • Medical librarians, including those at Duke University Medical Center Library & Archives, regularly provide guidance on compliance issues related to the NIH Public Access Policy, which requires that all peer-reviewed publications supported by NIH funding be submitted to PubMed Central within ninety days of publication. In order to limit the amount of staff time dedicated to notifying author teams of non-compliant articles and to increase overall compliance, library staff built and socialized an automated notification system using only existent resources and systems. The project required two forms of development: one technical and one social. On the technical side, the automated system was built by creating a data pipeline that integrates and transforms datasets pulled from the NIH Public Access Compliance Monitor (PACM) and the university's existing scholarly profiles platform, Symplectic Elements. The data was then stored in a Microsoft Access database. The code was written in python using primarily the Pandas library and will be made available in the poster via QR code. Microsoft’s Mail Merge was used to send dynamic emails based on the final dataset. To socialize the research community to the new program, library staff members developed an outreach strategy was that involved introducing the tool prior to its launch in blog posts, campus newsletters, library instructional sessions, and directed emails. The program was evaluated by measuring the policy compliance rate, pulled from PACM using log files logging the changes to the database, at regular intervals. After several months of development and testing, the system launched in January 2023, notifying several hundred authors of their compliance issues. While evaluation is ongoing, the system has been well received and most author teams have been pleased with the reminder and information provided in the automated emails. The poster will outline several lessons learned, especially regarding large NIH grants where PIs are often far removed from the publications that their grants support.
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  • 0000-0002-4863-8674
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