House committee to hold hearing on public access to publicly funded research

From: Jennifer McLennan <jennifer_at_ARL.ORG>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 11:52:16 -0400

For immediate release
July 20, 2010

For more information, contact:
Jennifer McLennan
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org

House committee to hold hearing on public access to publicly funded research
Support for public access expands in Congress

Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Policy, the Census and National
Archives announced it will hold a hearing on the issue of public access to
federally funded research on Thursday, July 29. The hearing will provide an
opportunity for the Committee to hear the perspectives of a broad range of
stakeholders on the potential impact of opening up access to the results of the
United States’ more than $60 billion annual investment in scientific research.

The Subcommittee’s interest stems from the growing number of visible expressions
of interest in the issue of public access that have surfaced in recent months,
in both the Legislative and Executive branches of government. Notably, the White
House Office of Science and Technology Policy earlier this year hosted a Public
Access Policy Forum on mechanisms that would leverage federal investments in
scientific research and increase access to information.

Additionally, H.R. 5037, the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), which
was introduced into the House on April 15 by Rep. Mike Doyle (R-PA) and is
supported by a growing bi-partisan host of cosponsors, was referred to the
Committee. The bill, and its identical Senate counterpart (introduced by Sens.
Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX)), proposes to require those eleven
federal agencies with extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to
implement policies that deliver timely, free, online public access to the
published results of the research they fund. 

According to the notice:

“The hearing will examine the state of public access to federally-funded
research in science, technology, and medicine. The hearing will assess and
delineate the complex issues surrounding public access policies. The hearing
will afford an opportunity for representatives from the areas of publishing,
science and research, education and patient care to provide perspective on
challenges, potential impact and opportunities regarding increased access.”

This open, public hearing will be held Thursday, July 29, at 2:00 PM in Rayburn
House Office Building, room 2154. 

“We are pleased that the Committee is creating this opportunity to shine a light
on the issue of public access and examine the opportunities and implications it
presents in an open, public forum,” said Heather Joseph, spokesperson for the
Alliance for Taxpayer Access and Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly
Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). “This is an issue of deep
importance to a wide range of stakeholders – from scientists to students,
entrepreneurs to educators, publishers and the public. We welcome this chance
for a diverse array of viewpoints on the issue to be heard.”

The growing interest in exploring effective public access policies in the U.S.
reflects a larger worldwide trend. Around the globe, national and non-profit
funding agencies are recognizing the opportunity to increase the return on their
research grants by requiring that findings be made freely accessible on the

For more information about the issue of public access to publicly funded
research, the Federal Research Public Access Act, and other public access
policies, visit

The Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA) is a coalition of patient, academic,
research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to the
results of federally funded research. The Alliance was formed in 2004 to urge
that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research become fully
accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American public. Details
on the ATA may be found at

Jennifer McLennan
Director of Programs & Operations
(202) 296-2296 x121
Fax: (202) 872-0884
SPARC 2010 Digital Repositories Meeting
November 8 & 9 - Baltimore, MD
Open Access Week 2010
October 18 - 24. Everywhere.
Received on Wed Jul 21 2010 - 17:44:13 BST

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