Just a few weeks ago, this blog featured an item about a federal bill that would have gutted the NIH PubMed Central deposit program for authors, and other federal programs.
Now, an opposing bill has been introduced to protect current programs and make all U.S. government-funded research freely available within 6 months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
The Federal Research Public Access Act now needs the support of scholars who believe that the public deserves access to the research which they paid for.
This is a bipartisan bill introduced last week in the U.S. Senate (S. 2096) and House of Representatives (H.R. 4004). A call to action from SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition, and the Alliance for Taxpayer Access includes background, talking points, and resources, and links to their legislative action center where you can easily identify and write to your representatives directly:
According to SPARC:
“We currently have a unique opportunity to create change. The Research Works Act (H.R. 3699), a piece of legislation introduced in December that would ban the government from providing the public access to publicly funded research, has galvanized the research community into acting against practices that restrict access to research articles – reaching the pages of the Economist, the New York Times, Wired, the Guardian, the Boston Globe, Slate, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The publishers of the two most prestigious scientific journals, Science and Nature, have not only opposed the Research Works Act publicly but also endorsed the National Institutes of Health public access policy, which FRPAA would extend to the other federal science agencies.”