Thursday, September 7, 2006

Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006

From The Alliance for Taxpayer Access:

Every year, the federal government funds tens of billions of dollars in basic and applied research. Most of this funding is concentrated within 11 departments/agencies (e.g., National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy). The research results typically are reported in articles published in a wide variety of academic journals. From NIH funding alone, it is estimated that about 65,000 papers are published each year.

Because U.S. taxpayers underwrite this research, they have a right to expect that its dissemination and use will be maximized, and that they themselves will have access to it. If this information is shared with all potential users, it will advance science and improve the lives and welfare of people of the United States and the world. This is an achievable goal ? today. The Internet has revolutionized information sharing and has made it possible to make the latest advances promptly available to every scientist, physician, educator, and citizen at their homes, schools, or libraries.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition has called for leaders in higher education to support the legislation. So far, there are only 23 land-grant institutions that have signed-on. Somewhat disappointing considering the land-grant mission…

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