White House Announces Wide-Reaching Open Access Policy
"On Friday afternoon, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum containing some pretty big news (PDF): all federal agencies with annual research or development expenditures over $100 million must develop policies that will ensure public access to the results of the research activity that they fund. The White House has twice previously invited comments on the topic of open access to federally funded research, and in May 2012 an online 'We the People' petition gathered in only two weeks the 25,000 signatures required to get a response from the Obama administration (the petition currently has over 65,000 signatures). John Holdren, President Obama’s science advisor and director of the OSTP, issued that response on Friday, linking to the memorandum prepared by his office and saying, 'The Obama Administration agrees that citizens deserve easy access to the results of research their tax dollars have paid for… [and] is committed to ensuring that the results of federally-funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community.' You may have heard about the recently proposed Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act, aka 'FASTR.' It’s the successor to the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) legislation that was first proposed in 2006 but has never been voted on by Congress. FASTR, if it passes Congress, would legislate open access to federally funded research, but given the length of time FRPAA languished, that’s certainly not guaranteed to happen quickly. However, the OSTP memorandum directs these federal agencies to start preparing their access policies immediately, with a deadline of six months for implementation ..."
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