By Ann M. Watson, Library Director
More recently, on April 15, 2010, Representatives Doyle (D-PA), Waxman (D-CA), Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), Harper (R-MS), Boucher (D-VA) and Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (H.R. 5037), a bill that would ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by eleven U.S. federal agencies. This bi-partisan supported bill mirrors the Senate version (S. 1373) introduced in June 2009.
What does this mean for libraries and the public?
Essentially, the bill would advance and expand the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy which requires public access to taxpayer-funded research to an additional 11 agencies. The ability to search and access the archives of non-classified research of these agencies and departments − including 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 − would provide open online access to research. Undoubtedly, such an archive would allow librarians the ability to better assist library patrons with their information and research needs as well as allow direct access by the public.
Without the passage of S. 1373/H.R. 5037, taxpayer-funded research will continue to be inaccessible (without a fee) to those already funding it – the public. Librarians are encouraged to use the American Library Association’s Take Action Center to contact their representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the bill at http://capwiz.com/ala/issues/alert/?alertid=14952441.
This brief synopsis about FRPAA is provided by the American Library Association’s Office of Government Relations. It has been submitted by Ann M. Watson, Government Relations Liaison for the Academic Library Association of Ohio.
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