Entries Matching: Open Access To Research
Each year, the federal government spends billions of dollars funding all sorts of important scientific research. But when that research produces important results, accessing that vital information requires subscriptions to a huge variety of journals. Subscribing to all of the publications necessary is beyond the reach of any researcher, and even strains the budgets of major universities and other research institutions. Even then, those libraries are often only accessible to their affiliated faculties and students, not the wider world of users—including the taxpayers who funded the research in the first place.
It was suggested that a Scannebago should be driving around the United States scanning public library works to make them available online. (I envision the Scannebago as a cross between a Winnebago, a Google Street View car and the pickup truck from Twister, but you might picture a more creative image.) Regardless of the process, many public libraries have scanned works over the past few years and now it is time to organize the digital works for public access across the country—and eventually internationally. Last year, the Berkman Center for Internet and Technology, with funding from the Alfred P.
If you think that the public should have access to the scientific research it pays for, tomorrow (January 21) is the deadline for submitting your view to the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy.
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.
Kudos to PK Board member Hal Abelson, who persuaded MIT's faculty to make all of their scholarly papers available for free on the web. According to Wired, this is the "first university-wide policy" of its kind.
This decision is particularly timely, given the attacks on open access publishing by commercial publishers and their friends in Congress. In fact, the MIT decision goes beyond most other open access policies. The open access policy at the National Institutes of Health, for example, requires submission of NIH-funded research 12 months after that research is public.