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Stakeholders Issue Public-Access Report

by Susan R. Morrissey
January 18, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 3

Federal agencies should develop and implement a policy that ensures public access to peer-reviewed journal articles containing federally funded research data, according to a report from the Scholarly Publishing Roundtable. The group of academic administrators, academic librarians, publishers, and information technology researchers was convened by the House Science & Technology Committee and the Office of Technology Policy last June. The report includes several recommendations to achieve a federal public-access policy. Most important, to balance the needs of different science disciplines, the report calls for an embargo period of zero to 12 months to be set up between publication and public access. Other recommendations include working closely with stakeholders to develop public-access policies, making sure standards are in place to allow searchability across databases, and requiring that the final version of an article or a link to that version is available. "These recommendations strike a good balance by allowing public access to the results of research paid for with federal funds, while preserving the high quality and editorial integrity of scholarly publishing so critical to scientists and seasoned science writers," says Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), chairman of the S&T Committee.


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