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Earlier this week, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) introduced the H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act. It’s a bit surprising that there has been so little coverage of this very controversial bill. Among many troubling provisions, the bill includes language on public access that SPARC strongly opposes.
The language, contained in Section 303 of the bill, would impose significant barriers to the public’s ability to access the results of taxpayer-funded research, be a step backward from existing federal policy in the directive, and put the U.S. at a severe disadvantage among our global competitors.
There will be many opportunities to weigh in against this provision as the FIRST Act makes its way through the legislative process in the House of Representatives from subcommittee markup, to full committee markup, to deliberation on the House floor. (Think: the Schoolhouse Rock song, I’m Just a Bill.)
That process begins tomorrow morning in the Research and Technology Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, which is scheduled to mark up the bill at 9:00am.
Specifically, SPARC opposes Section 303 because it would:
We will continue to work with the many bipartisan members of the Congress who support open access to publicly funded research to improve the bill – and hope that they will hear from you as well.
Send a letter opposing Section 303 to members of the House Science Committee now using our legislative action center.