Action Alert: Proposed FY2011 Continuing Resolution Amendment Would Eliminate Institute of Museum and Library Services’s Funding

A proposed amendment (no. 35) to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution amendment by U.S. Rep. Scott Garret (R-NJ) would eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services’s funding.

You can use the ALA's "ADVOCACY URGENTLY NEEDED: House Considering Two Amendments Critical to the Future Of Libraries" web page to contact your Representative about this issue.

In related news, President Obama's budget requests $242,605,000 for fiscal year 2012 for the IMLS.

| Digital Scholarship | Digital Scholarship Publications Overview |

Net Neutrality Alert: Public Knowledge Announces the "Internet Strikes Back" Day

Public Knowledge has announced the "Internet Strikes Back" Day (2/17/11) to support net neutrality.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Public Knowledge has set this Thursday, Feb. 17, as "Internet Strikes Back" day to counter Congressional opposition to a fair and open Internet.

The day was chosen because it is one day after members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee hold a hearing to unveil legislation that would roll back current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Net Neutrality rules and prohibit the Commission from enacting future rules.   On that day following the hearing, members of the public are being asked to call their member of Congress and oppose the legislation.

PK has set up a Web site, www.theinternetstrikesback.org which will allow visitors to sign up for mobile action alerts, including a text message reminder, and download an Internet Strikes Back badge for web sites.

| Digital Scholarship | Digital Scholarship Publications Overview |

Action Alert: H.R. 408 Would Eliminate National Endowment for the Humanities

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has introduced H.R. 408, the Spending Reduction Act of 2011, which would eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has introduced similar legislation (S. 178) in the Senate.

The National Humanities Alliance has posted two items about this issue: "Republican Study Committee Leaders Unveil Spending Reduction Act of 2011" and, on the DuraSpace Blog, "Proposal to Eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities in U.S. Congress."

You can use the NHA's Legislative Action Center Contact Form to send messages to your Congressional representatives. The form includes suggested bullet points that you can include in your message.

| Digital Scholarship | Digital Scholarship Publications Overview |

"Issue Brief: FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules and Implications for Research Libraries"

The Association of Research Libraries has released "Issue Brief: FCC's Net Neutrality Rules and Implications for Research Libraries."

Here's an excerpt:

FCC Votes to Enact "Net Neutrality" Rules: After years of debate and consideration, on December 21, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") voted 3-2 in favor of enacting a narrow set of net neutrality rules to regulate the practices of broadband providers. "Net neutrality" is the principle that Internet users should have the right to access and provide content and use services via the Internet as they wish, and that network operators should not be allowed to "discriminate"—slow, block, or charge fees—for Internet traffic based on the source or content of its message. . . .

The wording of the net neutrality rules, advanced by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, appears to reflect an attempt at a compromise between network operators and advocates for strong net neutrality protections—including ARL, ALA, and EDUCAUSE. Ultimately, however, the limited scope of protection in the rules has not fully satisfied the concerns voiced by parties on both sides of the issue and thus has set the stage for further debate over regulation in the courts and in Congress.

| Digital Scholarship |

America COMPETES Act Establishes Interagency Public Access Committee

The signing of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 by President Obama establishes a new Interagency Public Access Committee. The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) has issued a press release that "applauds the efforts of US legislators in crafting the charter of the Interagency Public Access Committee."

Here's an excerpt from the Act:

SEC. 103. INTERAGENCY PUBLIC ACCESS COMMITTEE.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Director shall establish a working group under the National Science and Technology Council with

the responsibility to coordinate Federal science agency research and policies related to the dissemination and long-term stewardship of the results of unclassified research, including digital data and peer-reviewed scholarly publications, supported wholly, or in part, by funding from the Federal science agencies.

(b) RESPONSIBILITIES.—The working group shall—

(1) identify the specific objectives and public interests that need to be addressed by any policies coordinated under (a);

(2) take into account inherent variability among Federal science agencies and scientific disciplines in the nature of research, types of data, and dissemination models;

(3) coordinate the development or designation of standards for research data, the structure of full text and metadata, navigation tools, and other applications to maximize interoperability across Federal science agencies, across science and engineering disciplines, and between research data and scholarly publications, taking into account existing consensus standards, including international standards;

(4) coordinate Federal science agency programs and activities that support research and education on tools and systems required to ensure preservation and stewardship of all forms of digital research data, including scholarly publications;

(5) work with international science and technology counterparts to maximize interoperability between United States based unclassified research databases and international databases and repositories;

(6) solicit input and recommendations from, and collaborate with, non-Federal stakeholders, including the public, universities, nonprofit and for-profit publishers, libraries, federally funded and non federally funded research scientists, and other organizations and institutions with a stake in long term preservation and access to the results of federally funded research;

(7) establish priorities for coordinating the development of any Federal science agency policies related to public access to the results of federally funded research to maximize the benefits of such policies with respect to their potential economic or other impact on the science and engineering enterprise and the stakeholders thereof;

(8) take into consideration the distinction between scholarly publications and digital data;

(9) take into consideration the role that scientific publishers play in the peer review process in ensuring the integrity of the record of scientific research, including the investments and added value that they make; and

(10) examine Federal agency practices and procedures for providing research reports to the agencies charged with locating and preserving unclassified research.

(c) PATENT OR COPYRIGHT LAW.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to undermine any right under the provisions of title 17 or 35, United States Code.

(d) APPLICATION WITH EXISTING LAW.—Nothing defined in section

(b) shall be construed to affect existing law with respect to Federal science agencies’ policies related to public access.

(e) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director shall transmit a report to Congress describing—

(1) the specific objectives and public interest identified under (b)(1);

(2) any priorities established under subsection (b)(7);

(3) the impact the policies described under (a) have had on the science and engineering enterprise and the stakeholders, including the financial impact on research budgets;

(4) the status of any Federal science agency policies related to public access to the results of federally funded research; and

(5) how any policies developed or being developed by Federal science agencies, as described in subsection (a), incorporate input from the non-Federal stakeholders described in subsection (b)(6).

(f) FEDERAL SCIENCE AGENCY DEFINED.—For the purposes of this section, the term ‘‘Federal science agency’’ means any Federal agency with an annual extramural research expenditure of over $100,000,000.

| Digital Scholarship |

ALA Issues Urgent Call to Action about Museum and Library Services Act

ALA has issued a urgent call to action about the reauthorization of the Museum and Library Services Act.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Please call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred to your representative’s office. Tell their staffs that passing S. 3984, the Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA), is imperative to ensuring libraries can continue providing critical resources to their constituents, particularly in this tough economy. Specifically highlighting programs or resources your library provides to the member’s constituents will make your message stronger.

MLSA will ensure that the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds are secured and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is equipped to lead America’s libraries. This bill received bipartisan support from both Senate Republicans and Democrats, especially Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), who is a longtime supporter of libraries in this country. Other Senate sponsors of this bill include Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Michael Enzi (R-WY), and Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Jon Tester (D-MT). To access the full text of this bill, click here.

The U.S. Senate passed MLSA Reauthorization under unanimous consent late Tuesday night, bringing the bill one step closer to reauthorization before the end of the 111th Congress.

MLSA has moved to the U.S. House of Representatives where it must receive a vote before the end of the calendar year. Please call your representative and urge him or her to press House leadership for a vote on the Senate-passed version of MLSA and to support the bill.

| Digital Scholarship |

Alliance for Taxpayer Access Issues Call to Action for Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has issued a call to action for the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA).

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

All supporters of public access – universities and colleges, researchers, libraries, campus administrators, patient advocates, publishers, consumers, individuals, and others – are asked to ACT NOW to support The Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). See below for actions you can take.

Now before both the House of Representatives and the Senate, FRPAA would require those agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The bill gives individual agencies flexibility in choosing the location of the digital repository to house this content, as long as the repositories meet conditions for interoperability and public accessibility, and have provisions for long-term archiving.

The bill specifically covers unclassified research funded by agencies including: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

FRPAA reflects the growing trend among funding agencies – and college and university campuses – to leverage their investment in the conduct of research by maximizing the dissemination of results.  It follows the successful path forged by the NIH’s Public Access Policy, as well as by private funders like the Wellcome Trust and campuses such as Harvard, MIT, and the University of Kansas. The bill also reflects the Administration’s recent expression of interest in the potential implementation of public access policies across U.S. science and technology agencies – as indicated by the call for public comment issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which closed in January.

Detailed information about the Federal Research Public Access Act is available at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/frpaa.

Here’s how you can help support this legislation:

  1. Send thanks to the Bill’s sponsors, also through the ATA Action Center.
  2. Ask your representatives in Congress to co-sponsor H.R.5037 or S.1373. Act now through the ATA Legislative Action Center.
  3. Express your organization’s support to Congress for public access to taxpayer-funded research and for this bill. Send a copy of your letter to sparc [at] arl [dot] org.
  4. Issue a public statement of support from your organization and share it widely with members, colleagues, and the media. Send a copy to sparc [at] arl [dot] org to be featured on the FRPAA Web site.
  5. Share news about this bill with friends and colleagues.
  6. Post the "I support taxpayer access" banner on your Web site.
  7. See the ATA Web site at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/frpaa for more ways you can support public access to publicly funded research and this bill.

You can use the Legislative Action Center (item 1 above) to oppose H.R.801 (Fair Copyright in Research Works Act), a bill to repeal the NIH public access policy.

Open Access Call to Action from Alliance for Taxpayer Access

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has issued a call to action to thank Representative Wm. Lacy Clay for holding a Congressional hearing on public access to federally funded research.

Here's an excerpt from the call:

On Thursday, July 29, the Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform held the first-ever Congressional hearing on the issue of public access to federally funded research.  The Subcommittee, chaired by The Honorable Representative Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), invited ten witnesses, representing a broad cross-section of the stakeholder communities affected by this issue, to testify on the implications of opening access to the results of publicly funded research.

The open, public hearing was a crucial and timely examination of the issue of public access and its advancement. For full details, including witness testimony, visit http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/issues/access/access_resources/10-0814.shtml.

All supporters of public access to publicly funded research are urged to please write to Chairman Clay to express thanks for taking this important step in Congress. Talking points and contact information are included for your use below. Your action is requested NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 17th.

As ever, please send copies of letters to SPARC/Alliance for Taxpayer Access via email to jennifer [at] arl [dot] org.

And thanks, once again, for your continued support for public access! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Heather Joseph
Spokesperson
(202) 296-2296 ext. 157
heather [at] arl [dot] org

Jennifer McLennan
Director of Programs and Operations, SPARC
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
 


Talking points:

  • On behalf of the [your organization], which represents [number and type of membership], I write to thank you for your leadership in convening the first open hearing on public access to federally funded research. 
  • We believe that ensuring timely, barrier-free access to the results of the science and scholarship that our tax dollars underwrite will make possible an unprecedented variety of potential connections and discoveries, and improve the lives and welfare of people in the U.S. and around the world. We fully support policies that can turn this belief into a reality.
  • Your hearing was an invaluable and timely examination of the potential benefits of public access to the results of our nation’s $60 billion annual investment in scientific research.
  • By ensuring the hearing was inclusive and open, you created a very valuable forum for the diverse range of perspectives on the issue to be represented and explored.
  • The direction and nature of your questions also helped to surface key topics of discussion and provide much-needed clarity.
  • [detail why public access to research is important to your organization]
  • We look forward to working with you to continue to advance successful public access policies in Congress.

[end talking points]

Contact information:

The Honorable Representative Wm. Lacy Clay
Chairman, Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Via email: anthony.clark [at] mail [dot] house [dot] gov

H.R. 5704 Would Extend Copyright Protection to Works of Faculty at Department of Defense Service Academies and Schools of Professional Military Education

Rep. Todd Platts has introduced H.R. 5704 in the House, which would "allow faculty members at Department of Defense service academies and schools of professional military education to secure copyrights for certain scholarly works that they produce as part of their official duties in order to submit such works for publication, and for other purposes." Such works are currently in the public domain.

Read more about it at "Bill Would Curb Access to Government Works."

ALA: "Copyright Update—June 2010"

The ALA Office of Government Relations has released "Copyright Update—June 2010."

Here's an excerpt:

Rep. Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, introduced The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (H.R. 801) on February 3, 2009. Unfortunately, this not-so-new bill seeking to amend copyright code and create a new category of copyrighted work differs only in the bill number assigned from its predecessor in the 110th Congress (H.R. 6845) that ultimately died in the House Judiciary Committee.

Just as in the last Congress, H.R. 801 negates or reverses the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy currently in place, rolling back hard-fought progress on public access to taxpayer-funded NIH research on the Internet. The bill would effectively reverse the NIH Public Access Policy, as well as make it impossible for other federal agencies to put similar policies into place. Library advocates should continue to express to their members of Congress they strongly oppose H.R. 801, as it seeks to amend copyright law and reverse the NIH Public Access Policy.

Provosts and Presidents of 27 Major Research Institutions Support Federal Research Public Access Act

In "The Open Letter to the Higher Education Community" issued by the Harvard University Provost, the provosts and presidents of 27 major research institutions have indicated their strong support for the Federal Research Public Access Act.

Here's an excerpt:

The United States Congress will have the opportunity to consider the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). FRPAA would require Federal agencies whose extramural research budgets exceed $100 million to develop policies ensuring open, public access to the research supported by their grants or conducted by their employees. This Bill embodies core ideals shared by higher education, research institutions and their partners everywhere. The Bill builds upon the success of the first U.S. policy for public access to publicly funded research mdash; implemented in 2008 through the National Institutes of Health—and mirrors the intent of campus-based policies for research access that are being adopted by a growing number of public and private institutions across the nation.

We believe that this legislation represents a watershed and provides an opportunity for the entire U.S. higher education and research community to draw upon their traditional partnerships and collaboratively realize the unquestionably good intentions of the Bill’s framers—broadening access to publicly funded research in order to accelerate the advancement of knowledge and maximize the related public good. By ensuring broad and diverse access to taxpayer-funded research the Bill also supports the intuitive and democratic principle that, with reasonable exceptions for issues of national security, the public ought to have access to the results of activities it funds.

The broad dissemination of the results of scholarly inquiry and discourse is essential for higher education to fulfill its long-standing commitment to the advancement and conveyance of knowledge. Indeed, it is mission critical. For the land-grant and publicly funded institutions among us, it addresses the complementary commitment to public service and public access that is included in our charters. In keeping with this mission, we agree with FRPAA’s basic premise that enabling the broadest possible access to new ideas resulting from government-funded research promotes progress, economic growth, and public welfare. Furthermore, we know that, when combined with public policy such as FRPAA proposes, the Internet and digital technology are powerful tools for removing access barriers and enabling new and creative uses of the results of research.

Collectively, our universities engage in billions of dollars of funded research. On average, approximately 50% of our research funding originates with the federal government. That public investment—estimated at over $60.5 billion for the research covered by FRPAA—is complemented by our own institutional investments in research units, laboratories, libraries, and the faculty and staff whose expertise permeates them.

FRPAA has the potential to enable the maximum downstream use of those investments. Many of us are already working on programs and policies to promote greater access to the wealth of research produced by our scholars; we are adopting policies for open access to the research outputs of our institutions; we are building open access digital repositories to collect research, developing advanced publishing channels, and working with our scholarly publishing partners to pursue the broadest possible distribution of scholarship at lowest possible costs. FRPAA will complement these efforts and be a powerful tool in ensuring their success.

Each month the evidence mounts that open access to research through digital distribution increases the use of that research and the visibility of its creators. Widespread public dissemination levels the economic playing field for researchers outside of well-funded universities and research centers and creates more opportunities for innovation. Ease of access and discovery also encourages use by scholars outside traditional disciplinary communities, thus encouraging imaginative and productive scholarly convergence.

Open and public access policies can also match the missions of scholarly societies and publishers who review, edit, and distribute research to serve the advancement of knowledge. Sharing the fruits of research and scholarship inevitably leads to the creation of more research and scholarship, thus highlighting the need for publishing professionals to manage the selection and review of the highest quality research, both publicly and privately funded.

Open and public access to publications in no way negates the need for well-managed and effective peer review or the need for formal publishing. It does, however, challenge us all to think about how best to align the intellectual and economic models for scholarly publishing with the needs of contemporary scholarship and the benefits, including low marginal costs of distribution, of network technology. That challenge is one that many scholarly societies and commercial publishers are already successfully engaging through a variety of business model experiments and partnerships. We believe that FRPAA productively calls for further engagement.

As scholars and university administrators, we are acutely aware that the present system of scholarly communication does not always serve the best interests of our institutions or the general public. Scholarly publishers, academic libraries, university leaders, and scholars themselves must engage in an ongoing dialogue about the means of scholarly production and distribution. This dialogue must acknowledge both our competing interests and our common goals. The passage of FRPAA will be an important step in catalyzing that dialogue, but it is not the last one that we will need to take.

FRPAA is good for education and good for research. It is good for the American public, and it promotes broad, democratic access to knowledge. While it challenges the academy and scholarly publishers to think and act creatively, it need not threaten nor undermine a successful balance of our interests. If passed, we will work with researchers, publishers, and federal agencies to ensure its successful implementation. We endorse FRPAA's aims and urge the academic community, individually and collectively, to voice support for its passage.

Federal Research Public Access Act of 2010 (FRPAA) Introduced in House of Representatives

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and a bi-partisan host of co-sponsors (Rep. Rick Boucher, Rep. Gregg Harper, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Rep. Henry A. Waxman) have introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2010 (H.R. 5037) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here's an excerpt from the Alliance For Taxpayer Access press release:

The proposed bill would build on the success of the first U.S. mandate for public access to the published results of publicly funded research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and require federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. . . .

Like the Senate bill introduced in 2009 by Senators Lieberman (I-CT) and Cornyn (R-TX), H.R. 5037 would unlock unclassified research funded by agencies including: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

H.R. 5037 follows closely on the heels of a recent expression of interest in public access policies from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which issued a request for public comment on mechanisms that would leverage federal investments in scientific research and increase access to information that promises to stimulate scientific and technological innovation and competitiveness.

The Alliance For Taxpayer Access issued a call to action regarding the bill. Here's an excerpt:

Here's how you can help support this legislation:

  1. Send thanks to the Bill's sponsors, also through the ATA Action Center.
  2. Ask your representatives in Congress to co-sponsor H.R.5037 or S.1373. Act now through the ATA Legislative Action Center.
  3. Express your organization's support to Congress for public access to taxpayer-funded research and for this bill. Send a copy of your letter to sparc [at] arl [dot] org.
  4. Issue a public statement of support from your organization and share it widely with members, colleagues, and the media. Send a copy to sparc [at] arl [dot] org to be featured on the FRPAA Web site.
  5. Share news about this bill with friends and colleagues.
  6. Post the "I support taxpayer access" banner on your Web site.
  7. See the ATA Web site at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/frpaa for more ways you can support public access to publicly funded research and this bill.

Bills Introduced in House and Senate to Block FCC Net Neutrality Regulations

Senator John McCain has introduced the "The Internet Freedom Act of 2009" in the U.S. Senate and Rep. Marsha Blackburn has introduced the "Real Stimulus Act of 2009" in the U.S. House of Representatives. Both bills are aimed at preventing the FCC from imposing net neutrality regulations, saying: "The Federal Communications Commission shall not propose, promulgate, or issue any regulations regarding the Internet or IP-enabled services."

Read more about it at "House Bill Would Ban FCC Net Neutrality Rules" and "House, Senate Get Separate Bills to Kill Net Neutrality."

Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Act of 2009 Introduced

Rep. Frank Kratovil and Rep. Leonard Lance have introduced The Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Act of 2009 (HR 3762).

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In an effort to make sure the public has access to the same research reports and analysis Members of Congress use to make decisions, Rep. Frank Kratovil today introduced HR 3762, The Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Act of 2009. This bipartisan legislation, introduced with fellow freshman Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), would make published Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports available to the public in an effort to increase transparency and help citizens become more informed and engaged advocates.

"Across the country, citizens are deeply and passionately engaged in debates about the future of our country and the significant challenges we face at home and abroad," said Rep. Kratovil. "As the public debate has become increasingly partisan and polarized, it is more important than ever for citizens to have full access to the same neutral, unbiased information that many of us rely on to help us formulate important decisions."

The lawyers, economists, reference librarians, and social, natural, and physical scientists of CRS offer invaluable research and analysis to Members of Congress on all current and emerging issues of national policy. CRS has a responsibility to ensure that Members of the House and Senate have available the best possible information and analysis on which to base the policy decisions.

CRS is governed by requirements for accuracy, objectivity, balance, and nonpartisanship — the very sort of analysis sought and valued by engaged constituents. As a dedicated congressional support agency, CRS is joined by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in providing Congress with information and analysis that is unequaled by any other national legislature. While GAO and CBO reports are already available to the public, CRS reports are not.

"Making taxpayer-funded research available to the American people is good government," said Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ). "Our bill will allow for greater transparency and ensure that non-partisan, public policy reports that are prepared with taxpayer funds for members of Congress be available to educators, students, members of the news media and every citizen across the country." "When citizens are engaged and informed, we have a better chance of elevating our national discourse and cutting through the misinformation and spin that threatens progress," said Rep. Kratovil. "We must do everything we can to empower Americans to play an active role in the legislative process."

Health Care Debate Sidelines Federal Research Public Access Act

In "Open Access Bill Stalls in Congress," Bob Grant reports on the status of the Federal Research Public Access Act in the Senate.

Here's an excerpt:

Congressional staffers in the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) of 2009 (S.1373) lingers, have been forced to shift their attentions to health care and away from the bill. "They're definitely swamped," Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, told The Scientist. Joseph added that movement on FRPAA is not expected "until after health care gets sorted out."

You can send an e-mail supporting the bill to your Senator using the Alliance for Taxpayer Access Web form.

Greater Western Library Alliance Members Send Letter Supporting Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 to Senators

Greater Western Library Alliance member universities have sent a letter supporting the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 to members of the U.S. Senate.

Here's an excerpt:

Timely, barrier-free access to the results of federally funded research supports the core mission of our academic institutions and is essential to fully utilize our collective investment in science. FRPAA will help us maximize this investment by increasing the sharing research results, advancing the pace of discovery, and applying this knowledge for the benefit of our communities.

The FRPAA bill also expands on the success of the public access policy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the first U.S. agency to require public access to taxpayer-funded research. More than 450,000 unique users access material from the NIH repository each day. Under S.1373, we envision researchers and students working in fields of equal importance—from climate change to renewable energy—having the same access to federally funded research to advance their critical work.

This bill is a crucial step in realizing this goal and we look forward to working with you to secure the bill’s passage.

Open Letter from 57 Liberal Arts College Presidents Supporting the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009

Fifty-seven liberal arts college presidents have issued an open letter expressing "strong support" for the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S. 1373).

Here's an excerpt:

Liberal arts colleges are important components of our nation's scientific and scholarly productivity. Studies have shown that our institutions are highly effective in producing graduates who go on to obtain Ph.D. degrees and become productive researchers. Our faculty actively pursue research, much 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 on the Internet. In addition, it leaves control of the final published version of articles, which is generally used for citation purposes, in the hands of publishers.

Adoption of the Federal Research Public Access Act will democratize access to research information funded by tax dollars. It will benefit education, research, and the general public. We urge the higher education community, American taxpayers, and members of Congress to support its passage into law.

Read more about it at "Open Letter on Open Access."

eIFL-IP Draft Law on Copyright Including Model Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries and Consumers

Electronic Information for Libraries has released eIFL-IP Draft Law on Copyright Including Model Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries and Consumers.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The eIFL-IP Draft Law on Copyright is a practical guide to assist librarians, as well as their legal advisors and policy makers, when national laws are being updated. It contains provisions that support access to knowledge and the public interest of libraries and consumers.

The eIFL-IP Draft Law reflects contributions from international library and archive copyright experts, and amends and improves the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Draft Law On Copyright And Related Rights (version 2005), previously available online

Analysis of The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009

In "Close Reading: The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009," Public Knowledge Policy Analyst Mehan Jayasuriya analyzes the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009.

Here's an excerpt:

All in all, the Internet Freedom Protection Act of 2009 seems like a great first step toward the goal of enshrining net neutrality in U.S. law. It finally extends Carterfone rules to broadband providers, addresses the long-standing questions surrounding reasonable network management and ensures a number of much-needed protections for consumers. What remains to be seen is how the language of the bill will change as it works its way through Congress, how the FCC will choose to implement and enforce the provisions of the bill and whether or not the bill will be taken up by Congress at all. Only one thing is certain: those few, powerful opponents of net neutrality are not going to let this bill through without a fight.

Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009

Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) have introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

"The Internet is a success today because it was open to everyone with an idea," said Rep. Markey. "That openness and freedom has been at risk since the Supreme Court decision in Brand X. This bill will protect consumers and content providers because it will restore the guarantee that one does not have to ask permission to innovate."

"The Internet has thrived and revolutionized business and the economy precisely because it started as an open technology," Rep. Eshoo said. "This bill will ensure that the non-discriminatory framework that allows the Internet to thrive and competition on the Web to flourish is preserved at a time when our economy needs it the most."

H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, is designed to assess and promote Internet freedom for consumers and content providers. The bill will also require the FCC to examine whether carriers are blocking access to lawful content, applications, or services. The legislation calls for the FCC to conduct eight public broadband summits around the country no less than a year after the bill is enacted. These summits will be used to gather input from consumers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders on Internet freedom and U.S. broadband policies affecting consumer protection, competition, and consumer choice.

Here's an excerpt from the "Public Knowledge Hails Internet Freedom Preservation Act":

[Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge] "The requirements in the bill are very straightforward. In essence, the bill would return non-discrimination to communications law, preventing Internet service providers (ISPs), such as telephone and cable companies, from interfering in that end-to-end relationship. The requirements would curb the ability of ISPs from using the claim of network management to impose their own priorities on data traffic, based on financial arrangements or other considerations."

Alliance for Taxpayer Access Call to Action about Federal Research Public Access Act

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has issued a call to action about the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S 1373).

Here's an excerpt:

On June 25, Senators Lieberman (I-CT) and Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (S.1373), a bill that would ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by eleven U.S. federal agencies. S.1373 would require those agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The bill gives individual agencies flexibility in choosing the location of the digital repository to house this content, as long as the repositories meet conditions for interoperability and public accessibility, and have provisions for long-term archiving.

The bill specifically covers unclassified research funded by agencies including: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

S. 1373 reflects the growing trend among funding agencies—and college and university campuses—to leverage their investment in the conduct of research by maximizing the dissemination of results. It follows the successful path forged by the NIH’s Public Access Policy, as well as by private funders like the Wellcome Trust, and universities such as Harvard and MIT.

Detailed information about the Federal Research Public Access Act is available at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/frpaa.

All supporters of public access—universities and colleges, researchers, libraries, campus administrators, patient advocates, publishers, consumers, individuals, and others—are asked to ACT NOW to support this bill. Here’s how:

  • Contact Congress now to express your organization's support for public access to taxpayer-funded research and for this bill. Act now through the ATA Legislative Action Center.
  • Contact Congress now to express your individual support for public access to taxpayer-funded research and for this bill.
  • Send thanks to the Bill's sponsors—Senators Lieberman and Cornyn.
  • Issue a public statement of support from your organization and share it widely with members, colleagues, and the media. Send a copy to sparc [at] arl [dot] org to be featured on the FRPAA Web site.
  • Share news about this bill with friends and colleagues.
  • Post the "I support taxpayer access" banner on your Web site.

Open Access: Text of Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009

The text of the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S 1373) is now available.

Here's an excerpt:

SEC. 4. FEDERAL RESEARCH PUBLIC ACCESS POLICY.

(a) In General- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, each Federal agency with extramural research expenditures of over $100,000,000 shall develop a Federal research public access policy that is consistent with and advances purposes of the Federal agency.
(b) Content- Each Federal research public access policy shall provide for—
(1) submission to the Federal agency of an electronic version of the author's final manuscript of original research papers that have been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and result from research supported, in whole or in part, from funding by the Federal Government;
(2) the incorporation of all changes resulting from the peer review publication process in the manuscript described under paragraph (1);
(3) the replacement of the final manuscript with the final published version if—
(A) the publisher consents to the replacement; and
(B) the goals of the Federal agency for functionality and interoperability are retained;
(4) free online public access to such final peer-reviewed manuscripts or published versions as soon as practicable, but not later than 6 months after publication in peer-reviewed journals;
(5) production of an online bibliography of all research papers that are publicly accessible under the policy, with each entry linking to the corresponding free online full text; and
(6) long-term preservation of, and free public access to, published research findings—
(A) in a stable digital repository maintained by the Federal agency; or
(B) if consistent with the purposes of the Federal agency, in any repository meeting conditions determined favorable by the Federal agency, including free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation.
(c) Application of Policy- Each Federal research public access policy shall—
(1) apply to—
(A) researchers employed by the Federal agency whose works remain in the public domain; and
(B) researchers funded by the Federal agency;
(2) provide that works described under paragraph (1)(A) shall be—
(A) marked as being public domain material when published; and
(B) made immediately available under subsection (b)(4); and
(3) make effective use of any law or guidance relating to the creation and reservation of a Government license that provides for the reproduction, publication, release, or other uses of a final manuscript for Federal purposes.
(d) Exclusions- Each Federal research public access policy shall not apply to—
(1) research progress reports presented at professional meetings or conferences;
(2) laboratory notes, preliminary data analyses, notes of the author, phone logs, or other information used to produce final manuscripts;
(3) classified research, research resulting in works that generate revenue or royalties for authors (such as books) or patentable discoveries, to the extent necessary to protect a copyright or patent; or
(4) authors who do not submit their work to a journal or works that are rejected by journals.
(e) Patent or Copyright Law- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect any right under the provisions of title 17 or 35, United States Code.
(f) Report-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than October 1, of each year, the head of each Federal agency shall submit a report on the Federal research public access policy of that agency to—
(A) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;
(B) the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives;
(C) the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives;
(D) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate;
(E) the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate; and
(F) any other committee of Congress of appropriate jurisdiction.
(2) CONTENT- Each report under this subsection shall include—
(A) a statement of the effectiveness of the Federal research public access policy in providing the public with free online access to papers on research funded by the Federal agency;
(B) a list of papers published in peer-reviewed journals that report on research funded by the Federal agency;
(C) a corresponding list of papers made available by the Federal agency as a result of the Federal research public access policy; and
(D) a summary of the periods of time between public availability of each paper in a journal and in the online repository of the Federal agency.
(3) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY- The Federal agency shall make the statement under paragraph (2)(A) and the lists of papers under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (2) available to the public by posting such statement and lists on the website of the Federal agency.

Open Access Bill: Senators Cornyn and Lieberman Re-Introduce Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) re-introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) today. (Thanks to Open Access News.)

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Their legislation, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), would require every federal department and agency with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million or more to make their research available to the public within six months of publication.

"Our legislation would give the American people greater access to the important scientific research they help fund, which will accelerate scientific discovery and innovation, while also making sure that funding is being spent appropriately to ensure taxpayers are receiving a return on their research investments and they are not having to pay twice for the same research – once to conduct it, and a second time to read it. I will continue to advocate for greater transparency measures across all of our governmental departments and agencies, and I urge our Senate colleagues to support this legislation," said Sen. Cornyn.

"The United States has some of the best and brightest researchers," said Lieberman. "I continue to be impressed by their ideas and feel strongly that the American public should have access to what they discover. The internet makes it possible to provide public access to federally funded research and I am pleased to lead the effort to make this information more accessible."

Background:

Sens. Cornyn and Lieberman first introduced this legislation in the 109th Congress. In 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented their public access policy. It is estimated that approximately 80,000 papers are published each year from NIH funds.

  • Require every researcher with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million or more, whether funded totally or partially by a government department or agency, to submit an electronic copy of the final manuscript that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Ensure that the manuscript is preserved in a stable digital repository maintained by that agency or in another suitable repository that permits free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation.
  • Require that each taxpayer-funded manuscript be made available to the public online and without cost, no later than six months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

See also "Taxpayer Alliance Applauds Bill to Broaden Access to Federal Research Results."

France Passes “Three-Strikes” Copyright Bill

The French National Assembly has passed the Création et Internet bill, a "three-strikes" copyright bill intended to curb illegal file sharing on the Internet by disconnecting offenders from the network on their third offense. The bill conflicts with a recently passed European Parliament law that prohibits EU member counties from disconnecting Internet users without judicial oversight.

Read more about it at "France Ignores EU and Passes Antipiracy Law" and "France Set for Showdown with EU after Passing 3 Strikes Law."

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