Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Congrats to U.S. Senators Cornyn & Lieberman!

Congratulations to U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Joseph Lieberman for setting the standard for open access policy, with their "Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006", introduced in the U.S. Senate today, May 2, 2006.

This bill builds on the leadership of the U.S. National Institute of Health with its Public Access Policy, and reflects lessons learned since the NIH policy was enacted a year ago. Experience has shown that a request to deposit research articles is not enough; this led to a dismal 4% compliance rate. A clear-cut mandate to deposit is what is needed, and what the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) of 2006 accomplishes. FRPAA also clearly sets the standard for timing of deposit of research, with immediate deposit being the ideal, and 6 months after publication the maximum delay.

The scope of FRPPA is broad, encompassing a number of U.S. federal funding agencies.

Thank you for FRPPA, Senators Cornyn and Lieberman. May this Act pass speedily and effortlessly, and may it become a model for other governments to follow. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research are currently considering their own Access to Products of Research policy, and I will certainly recommend looking to FRPPA as a model.

Peter Suber has posted a number of links on FRPPA. For Peter's thoughtful analysis, see the May 2006 SPARC Open Access Newsletter. More information can be found on the SPARC web site.

Even though the bill was only introduced this morning, enthusiastic endorsements are already coming in! The Alliance for Taxpayer Access and the American Association for College Libraries have already endorsed the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006.

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