Is It Time to Allow the Public Free Access to Federally-Funded Research?

Monday, May 21, 2012
Americans should not have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars just to read the product of taxpayer-funded research, says Representative Mike Doyle (D-Pennsylvania), who has introduced legislation creating free public access.
Currently, anyone wanting to see a research paper funded by the federal government must subscribe to the journal that published it. This can cost as much as $20,000, putting the research out of reach for most Americans.
Doyle’s bill would require publications to offer free, online access to federally-funded research six months after it’s been published. Similar legislation was introduced as early as three years ago by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).
Journal publishers object to the change, saying it would prove costly for them to give away content for free.
However, some federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have already moved in this direction. Four years ago, the NIH began requiring researchers who receive grants to make their findings available for free one year after publication.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:

Bill to Make Publicly-Funded Research Public (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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