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57 college presidents declare support for public access to publicly funded research in the US
Date:9/23/2009

h of it with government funding, and often working in partnership with talented undergraduates. Unfortunately, access to research information paid for with tax dollars is severely limited at our institutions and indeed at most universities. Academic libraries simply cannot afford ready access to most of the research literature that their faculty and students need.

The Federal Research Public Access Act would be a major step forward in ensuring equitable online access to research literature that is paid for by taxpayers. The federal government funds over $60 billion in research annually. Research supported by the National Institutes of Health, which accounts for approximately one-third of federally funded research, produces an estimated 80,000 peer-reviewed journal articles each year.

Given the scope of research literature that would become available online, it is clear that adoption of the bill would have significant benefits for the progress of science and the advancement of knowledge.

S. 1373 would build on a number of established public access policies that have been adopted by government agencies in both the U.S. and abroad.

The National Institutes of Health has implemented a very successful comprehensive public access policy, as required by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2007. All seven of the Research Councils in the United Kingdom have public access policies as do the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The bill is also consistent with the growing number of institutional open access policies that have been adopted at universities such as Harvard, MIT, and the University of Kansas.

We are supportive of the Federal Research Public Access Act because it has been crafted in a way that provides ample protection for the system of peer review. It allows for a window of up to six months before final peer-reviewed manuscripts resulting from publicly funded research are made openly accessible
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Contact: Jennifer McLennan
jennifer@arl.org
202-296-2296
SPARC
Source:Eurekalert

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