A bill introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives would require federal agencies with external research budgets of $100-million or more to provide electronic access to articles based on research they help pay for. The bill, the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2012, was introduced by Mike Doyle, a Democrat of Pennsylvania.
[The legislation] directs federal agencies to encourage open public access to federally funded scientific research.
“Americans have the right to see the results of research funded with taxpayer dollars,” Congressman Doyle said in introducing the Federal Research Public Access Act. “Yet such research too often gets locked away behind a pay-wall, forcing those who want to learn from it to pay expensive subscription fees for access.”
“The Federal Research Public Access Act will encourage broader collaboration among scholars in the scientific community by permitting widespread dissemination of research findings. Promoting greater collaboration will inevitably lead to more innovative research outcomes and more effective solutions in the fields of biomedicine, energy, education, and health care.”
The Federal Research Public Access Act would require federal agencies with an extramural research budget of $100 million or more to make federally-funded research available for free online access by the general public, no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
The Federal Research Public Access Act would:
• Require federal departments and agencies with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million or more, whether funded totally or partially by a government department or agency, to submit an electronic copy of the final manuscript that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
• Ensure that the manuscript is preserved in a stable digital repository maintained by that agency or in another suitable repository that permits free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation.
• Require that each taxpayer-funded manuscript be made available to the public online and without cost, no later than six months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Original sponsors of the Federal Research Public Access Act are Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO).
Identical legislation is also being introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).
See Also: Read the Bill