PLOS applauds the efforts of legislation sponsors Sens. Cornyn (R-TX), and Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Doyle (D-PA), Yoder (R-KS) and Lofgren (D-CA) with the introduction of bipartisan and bicameral legislation that will maximize the impact of federally funded research. The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research act (FASTR) act states:
”The US has a substantial interest in maximizing the impact and utility of the research it funds by enabling a wide range of reuses of the peer-reviewed literature that reports the results of such research, including by enabling computational analysis by state-of-art technology. The Federal Government funds basic and applied research with the expectation that new ideas and discoveries that result from the research, if shared and effectively disseminated, will advance science and improve the lives and welfare of people in the US and around the world. The internet makes it possible for this information to be promptly available to every scientist, physician, educator and citizens at home, in school, or in a library”
Increasing access to research outputs delivers benefits for the economy, for medical patients, for innovators and for the general public. In Tuesday’s State of the Union Speech President Barack Obama referenced the Human Genome Project, which has generated both good science and $141 dollars returned for every dollar spent. In addition, one of President Obama’s distinguished guests was Jack Andraka, a high school sophomore, who won the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his creation of a new method to detect early-stage pancreatic cancer. His discovery was made possible by using the research outputs he could access freely online.
We are seeing a proliferation of increased access, from new journals to new guidelines and legislation. In the UK, PLOS strongly supports the efforts of the UK Government and Research Councils to increase access to publicly funded research. We applaud the development and implementation of policies in Ireland, Denmark, Argentina, Australia and in the European Union. We stand firmly alongside any organization or initiative that attempts to eliminate unnecessary barriers to the immediate availability, access and use of research, and we look forward to working with them in the journey towards full Open Access.
We invite you to join us in the PLOS mission to lead a transformation in research communication for the benefit of all. We urge you to call, write or email your congressional representative and express your support for FASTR.