Support for Public Access Expands in Congress as House Plans Hearing on Public Access to Research
Submitted by on Wed, 2010-07-21 10:11
From Jennifer McLennan, Director of Programs & Operations, SPARC
Washington, DC The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, the Census and National Archives announced it will hold a hearing on the issue of public access to federally funded research on Thursday, July 29. The hearing will provide an opportunity for the Committee to hear the perspectives of a broad range of stakeholders on the potential impact of opening up access to the results of the United States’ more than $60 billion annual investment in scientific research.
The Subcommittee’s interest stems from the growing number of visible expressions of interest in the issue of public access that have surfaced in recent months, in both the Legislative and Executive branches of government. Notably, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy earlier this year hosted a Public Access Policy Forum on mechanisms that would leverage federal investments in scientific research and increase access to information.
Additionally, H.R. 5037, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), which was introduced into the House on April 15 by Rep. Mike Doyle (R-PA) and is supported by a growing bi-partisan host of cosponsors, was referred to the Committee. The bill, and its identical Senate counterpart (introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX)), proposes to require those eleven federal agencies with extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to implement policies that deliver timely, free, online public access to the published results of the research they fund.
According to the notice:
“The hearing will examine the state of public access to federally-funded research in science, technology, and medicine. The hearing will assess and delineate the complex issues surrounding public access policies. The hearing will afford an opportunity for representatives from the areas of publishing, science and research, education and patient care to provide perspective on challenges, potential impact and opportunities regarding increased access.”
This open, public hearing will be held Thursday, July 29, at 2:00 PM in Rayburn House Office Building, room 2154.
“We are pleased that the Committee is creating this opportunity to shine a light on the issue of public access and examine the opportunities and implications it presents in an open, public forum,” said Heather Joseph, spokesperson for the Alliance for Taxpayer Access and Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). “This is an issue of deep importance to a wide range of stakeholders – from scientists to students, entrepreneurs to educators, publishers and the public. We welcome this chance for a diverse array of viewpoints on the issue to be heard.”
The growing interest in exploring effective public access policies in the U.S. reflects a larger worldwide trend. Around the globe, national and non-profit funding agencies are recognizing the opportunity to increase the return on their research grants by requiring that findings be made freely accessible on the Internet.
For more information about the issue of public access to publicly funded research, the Federal Research Public Access Act, and other public access policies, visit http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.
About the Alliance for Taxpayer Access
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA) is a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to the results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to urge that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research become fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American public. Details on the ATA may be found at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.