Rep. Doyle Introduces Bill To Provide Public Access To Publicly Funded Research
from the good-for-him dept
The issue in these bills is that there has been a movement to require any research that is federally funded (taxpayer funded) to be placed in an open access repository one year after it was published. The National Institute of Health (NIH) who funds billions in research every year, has had this policy going for a few years (though journals have even tried nasty tricks, like requiring academics to pay them to "deposit" their own papers into these open repositories). This kind of rule makes plenty of sense: we're talking about publicly funded research after all. It should be open to the public. Giving the journals a one-year headstart on publishing the papers seems like more than enough for them to make money (again, from the "free" content they get).
Except... the journals hate this because they want their lifetime-plus monopoly on this information (which, I'll emphasize once again that they do not pay for). So they've been pushing various bills that would outlaw such open access requirements. And, somehow, they got Darrell Issa to back the latest version of this bill.
Thankfully, however, Rep. Mike Doyle -- who has a long history of being really good on copyright issues -- has introduced a counter bill to Issa's bill (pdf) called the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2012. It really is the mirror image of the Issa bill.
the Federal Government funds basic and applied research with the expectation that new ideas and discoveries that result from the research, if shared and effectively disseminated, will advance science and improve the lives and welfare of people of the United States and around the world; and the Internet makes it possible for this information to be promptly available to every scientist, physician, educator, and citizen at home, in school, or in a library.The bill would require that all federal agencies establish policies that encourage open and free access to federally funded research. One hopes that Rep. Issa will rethink his position on his bill, and recognize that Doyle's bill is much more aligned with Issa's stated goal (and long-shown commitment) to more open access to government information.