Research Works Act (H.R. 3699) Threatens Open Access to Publicly Funded Research

Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) have introduced the Research Works Act (H.R. 3699), which is aimed at eliminating federal open access policies such as the NIH Public Access Policy. The key passage of the bill states:

No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that—

  1. causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work; or
  2. requires that any actual or prospective author, or the employer of such an actual or prospective author, assent to network dissemination of a private-sector research work.

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has issued a call to action and a draft letter that can be modified and sent to legislators. Here's an excerpt from the call:

Supporters of public access need to speak out against this proposed legislation. We strongly urge you to contact these offices to express your opposition TODAY, or as soon as possible. To support you, draft letter text is available.

Also, don’t miss a key opportunity to express support for the expansion of the NIH public-access policy to other federal science and technology agencies. There are six days left to respond to the White House requests for information (RFI) on public access to scholarly publications and data (http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/action/action_access/11-1117.shtml).

Read more about it at "Publishers Applaud 'Research Works Act,' Bipartisan Legislation to End Government Mandates on Private-Sector Scholarly Publishing," "Research Works Act H.R.3699: The Private Publishing Tail Trying to Wag the Public Research Dog, Yet Again," and "Trying to Roll Back the Clock on Open Access: Research Works Act Introduced."

[Regular DigitalKoans posts resume on 1/17/12.]

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