January 18, 2022

Open Access: U.S. Senate Committee Passes Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2015 (FASTR)

Portions of two statements (and links to full text) follow. You can track the FASTR legislation (S.779) by using GovTrack.us.


The Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) today passed S. 779, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, unanimously by voice vote and moved it to the full Senate for consideration. This marks the first time the Senate has acted on a government-wide policy ensuring public access to the results of publicly funded research, and is an important step towards codifying the progress made by the 2013 White House OSTP Directive.

FASTR calls for federal agencies with extramural research budgets in excess of $100 million to establish consistent, permanent public access policies for articles reporting on their funded research making articles freely available to the public no later than twelve months after publication – and preferably sooner.

Read the Complete Statement (Including Comments by SPARC Executive Director, Heather Joseph)

From the American Library Association:

Today, public access to federally-funded research took one momentous move forward with the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ vote to support the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2015 (FASTR). The legislation would accelerate scientific discovery and fuel innovation by making articles reporting on publicly-funded scientific research freely accessible online for anyone to read and build upon.

FASTR would require federal departments and agencies with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million to develop a policy to ensure that researchers submit an electronic copy of the final manuscript accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Additionally, the bill would also require that each taxpayer-funded manuscript be made available to the public online and without cost, no later than twelve months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The library community, which has long advocated for public access to federally-funded research, cheered the Senate Committee’s support of the bill. As critical public access points, libraries provide every sector of their communities with a wealth of research information.


The next step for the FASTR bill will be a full vote by the U.S. Senate.

Read the Complete Announcement (Including Comments by ALA President Sari Feldman)

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.