Federal Spending Legislation Supports Open Access to Research

From the ALA Washington Office:

Last week, President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill funding the federal government through September 30, 2014. It has made important progress in allowing tax-payer funded research to be freely accessible in a digital environment. The federal agencies under the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education portion of this bill with research budgets of $100 million or more will be required to provide online access of articles that report on federally funded research. The agencies will have no more than 12 months after the articles publication in a peer-reviewed journal to make them publicly accessible.

With the additional agencies, a little more than half of the annual U.S. investment in taxpayer-funded research, $31 of the annual $60 billion will be accessible.

In addition to the language in the bill, report language was included, urging agencies to continue to move forward on the White House Directive policies.

The bill’s language follows in the footsteps of the landmark NIH Public Access Policy and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Directive on Public Access.

The ALA is very appreciative to the White House, Senator Harkin, Senator Cornyn and all who fought for this to be included. Without their efforts, we would not be where we are today.

While we celebrate this milestone in open access, we are also aware that we have not gone far enough. The additional provisions found in the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act would make this effort complete.