Issue Date: July 6, 2009
Public Access Bill Introduced
Legislation introduced in the Senate late last month would require research supported by federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of more than $100 million to be publicly available within six months of publication. The Federal Research Public Access Act (S. 1373) is sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and is the same legislation that was introduced in 2006 but failed to pass. Agencies that would be covered by the bill include the Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, and Health & Human Services, as well as NSF, EPA, and NASA. "Our legislation would give the American people greater access to the important scientific research they help fund, which will accelerate scientific discovery and innovation, while also making sure that funding is being spent appropriately to ensure taxpayers are receiving a return on their research investments," Cornyn said in a statement. The bill does not prescribe where the agencies' digital repositories must be located but does note that they should be publicly accessible, interoperable, and have provisions for long-term archiving.
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