Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research

Great news out of Washington, DC today:

“The Obama Administration is committed to the proposition that citizens deserve easy access to the results of scientific research their tax dollars have paid for. That’s why, in a policy memorandum released today, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John Holdren has directed Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research.”

The new policy comes after two rounds of requests for information from the White House, as well as a petition on “We The People,” which garnered over 60,000 signatures in support of public access to federally funded research.  Dr. Holdren, in his response to the petition, stated:

“The logic behind enhanced public access is plain. We know that scientific research supported by the Federal Government spurs scientific breakthroughs and economic advances when research results are made available to innovators. Policies that mobilize these intellectual assets for re-use through broader access can accelerate scientific breakthroughs, increase innovation, and promote economic growth.”

You can read the memo from Dr. Holdren online, and visit the OSTP website for more information about the new policy.

Closer to home, two Illinois State Senators, Senator Bliss (D) and Senator Althoff (R), have introduced SB1900, which would create the “Open Access to Research Articles Act,” requiring public higher education institutions to develop an open access policy for research articles.  For more information, please visit the Illinois State Senate website.

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