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Photo: Architect of the Capitol

Today the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research ACT (FASTR) was introduced in both the House and Senate.  FASTR was sponsored by Senators Cornyn and Wyden and Representatives Doyle, Yoder and Lofgren.

The legislation requires federal agencies that fund research to develop a “public access policy” for federally funded academic papers.  The policies required by the bill would provide for “free online public access to such final peer reviewed manuscripts or published versions as soon as practicable, but not later than 6 months after publication in peer-reviewed journals; [and] providing research papers … in formats and under terms that enable productive reuse, including computational analysis by state-of-the-art technologies.”

In a press release, Rep. Doyle said “This bill will give the American people greater access to the important scientific research results they’ve paid for. Supporting greater collaboration among researchers in the sciences will accelerate scientific innovation and discovery, while giving the public a greater return on their scientific investment.”

Open Access advocates applauded the legislation:

  • PIJIP Director Michael Carroll– “The bill promotes the public interest in a number of ways.  It would codify the principle that the public is entitled to free online access to the research it funds, and it recognizes that access alone is insufficient.  It would require agencies to explicitly enable researchers to use state-of-the-art technologies to analyze the literature, and it requires agencies to study whether the best way to enable reuse is through an open copyright license.”
  • SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph – FASTR “represents an important step forward in the legislative progression toward the goal of Open Access to publicly funded research. Based on the framework laid out by the highly successful NIH Public Access Policy, (as well as the previously-proposed Federal Research Public Access Act) the bill proposes terms and conditions that fully enable digital reuse of publicly funded research articles – as well as calling for their timely, barrier-free availability.”

For more information on the bill: