Federal Research Public Access Act
The Federal Research Public Access Act was introduced in the Senate on June 25, 2009 by Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) (S.1373) and in the House of Representatives on April 15, 2010 by Representatives Doyle (D-PA), Waxman (D-CA), Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), Harper (R-MS), Boucher (D-VA) and Rohrabacher (R-CA) (HR 5037).
WHAT DOES THE ACT REQUIRE?
FRPAA would require that 11 U.S. government agencies with annual extramural research expenditures over $100 million make manuscripts of journal articles stemming from research funded by that agency publicly available via the Internet. The manuscripts will be maintained and preserved in a digital archive maintained by the agency or in another suitable repository that permits free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation. Each manuscript will be freely available to users without charge within six months after it has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
WHY THIS BILL?
Every year, the federal government funds tens of billions of dollars in basic and applied research. Most of this funding is concentrated within 11 departments/agencies (e.g., National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Department of Energy). The research results typically are reported in articles published in a wide variety of academic journals. From NIH funding alone, it is estimated that about 65,000 papers are published each year.
Because U.S. taxpayers underwrite this research, they have a right to expect that its dissemination and use will be maximized, and that they themselves will have access to it. If this information is shared with all potential users, it will advance science and improve the lives and welfare of people of the United States and the world. This is an achievable goal – today. The Internet has revolutionized information sharing and has made it possible to make the latest advances promptly available to every scientist, physician, educator, and citizen at their homes, schools, or libraries.