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On June 25, Senators John Cornyn and Joe Lieberman re-introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA, S.1373) in the Senate.
This is an important development. FRPAA would essentially extend the NIH open-access policy across the federal government. Most federally-funded researchers would be required to deposit their peer reviewed manuscripts in a suitable open access repository at the time of acceptance for publication, and the repositories would be required to release the open access copies no later than six months after publication.
Currently, the NIH and the Institute of Education Sciences (within the Dept of Ed) are the only federal agencies with similar policies, and both of them allow 12 month delays, not just the FRPAA six month delay. FRPAA would apply to all unclassified research funded in whole or part by agencies whose budgets for extramural research are $100 million/year or greater. This includes the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.
Cornyn and Lieberman last introduced FRPAA in 2006, when it never came up for a vote. The new bill is the same as the 2006 version in all important respects, and has been referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, where Lieberman is Chairman.
If you want to send thanks to the sponsors, you can use the action alert from the Alliance for Taxpayer Access. Also see the public letters of thanks to the sponsors (1, 2) from 10 national organizations, including PK.
For further reading: