More Federally Funded Research To Be Made Freely Accessible

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open accessIn response to a We The People petition, the Obama White House has taken another step in the journey to provide open access to publicly-funded research.

Today the Office of Science and Technology directed all federal agencies that manage “more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop plans to make the results of federally-funded research publically available free of charge within 12 months after original publication.”

The open-access movement is not restricted to the United States, but you could argue that we are not moving as quickly or as radically as other nations. For example, last summer United Kingdom Science Minister David Willetts accepted the recommendations of a task force on open access. The first recommendation (pdf) Continue reading

Open Access Proponents Derail Elsevier-Backed Publishing Restriction

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open access uk Academics and researchers who support open access to research were able to take a (short) victory lap on Monday. Legislation that would have prevented federal agencies from publishing publicly-funded research results without the approval of the originating journal died after Dutch publishing giant Elsevier pulled its support.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the Research Works Act (HR 3699, emphasis added) would have prohibited

a federal agency from adopting, maintaining, continuing, or otherwise engaging in any policy, program, or other activity that: (1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any ["research funded in whole or in part by a federal agency"] without the prior consent of the publisher; or (2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the author’s employer, assent to such network dissemination.

The proposed legislation contradicted the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy (2008) which requires that NIH-funded researchers submit their manuscripts to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central “no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.”

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