[Irtalk] Fwd: [EIFL-OA] Public Access to Scientific Research Advances in Omnibus

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Fri Jan 17 10:53:22 SAST 2014

*Hilton Gibson*
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JS Gericke Library
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Tel: +27 21 808 4100 | Cell: +27 84 646 4758

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Iryna Kuchma <iryna.kuchma at eifl.net>
Date: 17 January 2014 10:49
Subject: [EIFL-OA] Public Access to Scientific Research Advances in Omnibus
To: hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Cc: EIFL - Open Access program announcement and discussion list <
eifloa at lists.eifl.net>

[Forwarded message from Andrea Higginbotham]

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Contact: Ranit


sparcmedia at arl.org


*Omnibus Appropriations Bill Codifies White House Directive*

Washington, DC – Progress toward making taxpayer-funded scientific research
freely accessible in a digital environment was reached today with
congressional passage of the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Act.  The bill
requires federal agencies under the Labor, Health and Human Services, and
Education portion of the Omnibus bill with research budgets of $100 million
or more to provide the public with online access to articles reporting on
federally funded research no later than 12 months after publication in a
peer-reviewed journal.

“This is an important step toward making federally funded scientific
research available for everyone to use online at no cost,” said Heather
Joseph, Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic
Resources Coalition (SPARC).  “We are indebted to the members of Congress
who champion open access issues and worked tirelessly to ensure that this
language was included in the Omnibus.  Without the strong leadership of the
White House, Senator Harkin, Senator Cornyn, and others, this would not
have been possible.”

The additional agencies covered would ensure that approximately $31 billion
of the total $60 billion annual US investment in taxpayer funded research
is now openly accessible.

SPARC strongly supports the language in the Omnibus bill, which affirms the
strong precedent set by the landmark NIH Public Access Policy, and more
recently by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
Directive on Public Access.  At the same time, SPARC is pressing for
additional provisions to strengthen the language – many of which are
contained in the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act
– including requiring that articles are:

·      Available no later than six months after publication;

·      Available through a central repository similar to the National
Institutes for Health’s (NIH) highly successful PubMed
a2008 model that opened the gateway to the human genome project and more
recently the brain mapping initiative.  These landmark programs demonstrate
quite clearly how opening up access to taxpayer funded research can
accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, lead to both innovative new
treatments and technologies, and generate new jobs in key sectors of the
economy; and

·      Provided in formats and under terms that ensure researchers have the
ability to freely apply cutting-edge analysis tools and technologies to the
full collection of digital articles resulting from public funding.

“SPARC is working toward codifying the principles in FASTR and is working
with the Administration to use PubMed Central as the implementation model
for the President’s directive,” said Joseph.  “Only with a central
repository and the ability to fully mine and reuse data will we have the
access we need to really spur innovation and job creation in broad sections
of the economy.”


Every year, the federal government uses taxpayer dollars to fund tens of
billions of dollars of scientific research that results in thousands upon
thousands of articles published in scientific journals.  The government
funds this research with the understanding that it will advance science,
spur the economy, accelerate innovation, and improve the lives of our
citizens.  Yet most taxpayers – including academics, students, and patients
– are shut out of accessing and using the results of the research that
their tax dollars fund, because it is only available through expensive and
often hard-to-access scientific journals.

By any measure, 2013 was a watershed year for the Open Access movement:  in
February, the White House issued the landmark
major bill,  FASTR <http://www.sparc.arl.org/advocacy/national/fastr>, was
introduced in Congress; a growing number of higher education institutions –
ranging from the University of California
Harvard University, MIT, the University of Kansas, and Oberlin College –
actively worked to maximize access to and sharing of research results;
and, for the first time, state legislatures around the nation have begun
debating open access policies supported by SPARC.

*Details of the Omnibus Language*

The Omnibus language (H.R. 3547) codifies a section of the White House
Directive requirements into law for the Department of Labor, Health and
Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Department of Education,
among other smaller agencies.

Additional report language was included throughout the bill directing
agencies and OSTP to keep moving on the Directive policies, including the
US Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Department of
Commerce, and the National Science Foundation.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.


SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an
international alliance of academic and research libraries working to
correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.  Developed by the
Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for
change.  Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly
communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research
and reduce financial pressures on libraries.  More information can be found
atwww.arl.org/sparc <http://www.arl.org/sparc/index.shtml> and on Twitter


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