Public Access to Research – Take Action Now!

The following call to action was issued by SPARC to support the passage of the Federal Research Public Access Act. Please join us in supporting public access to research.

Yesterday, Representatives Doyle (D-PA), Waxman (D-CA), Wasserman- Schultz (D-FL), Harper (R-MS), Boucher (D-VA) and Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (HR 5037), a bill that would ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by eleven U.S. federal agencies.

All supporters of public access – universities and colleges, researchers, libraries, campus administrators, patient advocates, publishers, consumers, individuals, and others – are asked to ACT NOW to support this bill. See below for actions you can take.

Now before both the House of Representatives and the Senate, FRPAA would require those agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The bill gives individual agencies flexibility in choosing the location of the digital repository to house this content, as long as the repositories meet conditions for interoperability and public accessibility, and have provisions for long-term archiving.

The bill specifically covers unclassified research funded by agencies including: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

FRPAA reflects the growing trend among funding agencies – and college and university campuses – to leverage their investment in the conduct of research by maximizing the dissemination of results. It follows the successful path forged by the NIH’s Public Access Policy, as well as by private funders like the Wellcome Trust and campuses such as Harvard, MIT, and the University of Kansas. The bill also reflects the Administration’s recent expression of interest in the potential implementation of public access policies across U.S. science and technology agencies – as indicated by the call for public comment issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which closed in January.

You can find detailed information about the Federal Research Public Access Act here.

Here’s how you can help support this legislation:

• Send thanks to the Bill’s sponsors, also through the ATA Action Center.

• Contact your representatives in Congress today and ask them to co-sponsor H.R.5037 or S.1373. Act now through the ATA Legislative Action Center.

• Contact Congress now to express your organization’s support for public access to taxpayer-funded research and for this bill. Send a copy of your letter to sparc [at] arl [dot] org.

• Issue a public statement of support from your organization and share it widely with members, colleagues, and the media. Send a copy to sparc [at] arl [dot] org to be featured on the FRPAA Web site.

• Share news about this bill with friends and colleagues.

• Post the “I support taxpayer access” banner on your Web site.

The ATA Web site will also provide you with more ways you can support public access to publicly funded research and this bill.

Thank you for your support.

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