NY Considering Bill To Require Open Access To State Funded Research

from the six-months dept

We’ve talked about the various debates concerning open access to federally funded research, and while there are still debates going on about bills in one direction or the other at the federal level, it looks like some politicians in NY State want to take matters into their own hands.

Earlier this year, a bill was introduced in the NY State Senate to establish open access to publicly funded research:

Each year, New York State agencies distribute tens of millions of dollars in direct and underwritten funding to original research projects. Much of the time, these papers receive publication to peer-reviewed journals, However, while the internet has expanded the breadth of free information that is available to the general public, many peer reviewed journals maintain prohibitive cost barriers which block widespread public access.

New York State proudly supports its dedicated funding to research which helps create scientific, environmental, and cultural breakthroughs; however it is unacceptable that that the taxpayers who provide the money for this research should encounter any barrier in accessing it.

This bill will provide a window for 6 months of exclusive protection to the research, at which point it is only just that the general public be free to share in the information generated from the research. Passing this law will give New York the honor of being the first state in the country to require public access to research generated from taxpayer dollars.

I have no idea if this bill has any legs, but it’s good to see such efforts being made.

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Comments on “NY Considering Bill To Require Open Access To State Funded Research”

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xenomancer (profile) says:

Re: Re: 6 Months?

As a member of the scientific and engineering communities, I have to disagree. While allowing such information to be public upon publication may not always aid the layman, it does aid in circulating the information around the scientific community (arXiv is a great example of this at work). We scientists do not get a free pass to such information with a smile or a professional promise; we pay for access (typical rates are ~$30 for 24hrs access or one-time access to a bulk number of articles at a similar cost) or are granted access via the questionable channel of sharing between colleagues at the crumbling largess of the publishers. The widespread circulation allowed by removing the monetary cost of access reinforces the peer-review process by opening the forum to a wider audience for analysis. While many scientists still publish their work on their private websites or share the PDF’s at request, this practice is actively discouraged by many journals and limits the audience to those who know of the scientist making the article available.

Getting an article accepted and published often takes a year or longer. That is also the time it usually takes to at least design if not begin followup work, by which time critical feedback does not always have the opportunity to seriously affect the followup work’s design without extra costs.

Kevin (profile) says:

Some Honor

Passing this law will give New York the honor of being the first state in the country to require public access to research generated from taxpayer dollars.

This is quite a dubious honor, since it merely makes them the first state to realize that they’ve been massively screwing over the investors (the taxpayers) since the dawn of tax-funded research time.

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