October 31, 2014

Congress Passes Spending Bill Requiring Free Access to Publicly Funded Research

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Two reports.

1. From Creative Commons

Both the U.S. House of Representative and Senate have passed the 2014 omnibus appropriations legislation. President Obama is expected to sign the bill shortly.

What’s so special about this legislation? Federal agencies with research budgets of at least $100 million per year will be required provide the public with free online access to scholarly articles generated with federal funds no later than 12 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The agencies affected by the public access provision of the appropriations bill include the Department of Labor, Department of Education, and Department of Health and Human Services (which includes research-intensive sub-agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

2. From SPARC

SPARC strongly supports the language in the Omnibus bill, which affirms the strong precedent set by the landmark NIH Public Access Policy, and more recently by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Directive on Public Access.  At the same time, SPARC is pressing for additional provisions to strengthen the language – many of which are contained in the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act – including requiring that articles are:

Available no later than six months after publication;

Available through a central repository similar to the National Institutes for Health’s (NIH) highly successful PubMed Central, a 2008 model that opened the gateway to the Human Genome Project and more recently the Brain Mapping Initiative.  These landmark programs demonstrate quite clearly how opening up access to taxpayer funded research can accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, lead to both innovative new treatments and technologies, and generate new jobs in key sectors of the economy; and

Provided in formats and under terms that ensure researchers have the ability to freely apply cutting-edge analysis tools and technologies to the full collection of digital articles resulting from public funding.

Full Text of Legislation (See Sec. 527)

‘‘Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014’’.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.