On February 9, 2012, Sens. Cornyn (R-TX), Wyden (D-OR), and Hutchinson (R-TX) and Reps. Doyle (D-PA), Yoder (R-KS), and Clay (D-MO) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA, S. 2096 and H.R. 4004 ), companion bills that would ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by 11 US federal agencies.
On March 20, 2012, in the House of Representatives, 24 new bipartisan co-sponsors joined FRPAA's supporters.
On March 29, 2012, ARL and six other library organizations sent a letter to Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), Chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, thanking him for conducting a hearing on public access and scholarly publication interests, and reiterating their support for FRPAA.
On May 1, 2012, one Senator and two Representatives joined FRPAA's growing list of co-sponsors.
Call to Action
Overview of FRPAA
FRPAA would require 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 legislation seeks to extend and expand access to these federally funded research resources and importantly, spur and accelerate scientific discovery.
Finally, FRPAA reflects a growing trend by funders and campuses alike of adopting and implementing public access policies relating to federally funded research.
Every year, the federal government funds over 60 billion dollars in basic and applied research. Most of this funding is concentrated within 11 departments and agencies. The research results typically are reported in articles published in a wide variety of academic journals. The bill was originally introduced in 2006. Older versions of the bill are discussed below.
What FRPAA Will Do
It is expected that non-classified research from investigators funded by the following agencies would be affected: the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.
Every federal agency and department with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million or more will implement a public access policy that is consistent with and advances the federal purpose of the respective agency. Agencies would have one year from enactment of the legislation to develop implementation policies, which would be promulgated to affected researchers at the appropriate time. Each agency must:
- Require each researcher—funded totally or partially by the agency—to submit to the agency an electronic copy of the final, electronic 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 free, online access to each manuscript be available as soon as possible, and no later than six months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
This Legislation Applies to:
- Any researcher employed by a federal agency with an annual research budget exceeding $100 million who publishes an article based on the work done for the funding agency in a peer-reviewed journal.
- Any researcher funded by a federal agency with an annual research budget exceeding $100 million who publishes an article based on the funded research in a peer-reviewed journal.
This Legislation Does Not Cover:
- The public access policy does not apply to laboratory notes, preliminary data analyses, author notes, phone logs, or other information used to produce the final manuscript.
- The policy does not apply to classified research. Research that results in works that generate revenue or royalties for the author (such as books), or patentable discoveries, are exempt to the extent necessary to protect copyright or a patent.
Talking points, an FAQ, and additional resources are available via the SPARC website.
Past Versions of FRPAA
Federal Research Public Access Act of 2010
On April 15, 2010, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and a bi-partisan host of co-sponsors introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2010 (FRPAA). The proposed bill requires 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. This legislation builds upon the success of the NIH Public Access Policy. This is a companion bill to S. 1373.
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.
- Call to Action: Tell Congress You Support the Federal Research Public Access Act
- Press Release from Alliance for Taxpayer Access
- Text of H.R. 5037
Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009
On June 25, 2009, Senators Lieberman (chair, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, I-CT) and Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (FRPAA). Provisions in the legislation would require that U.S. Government agencies and departments with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million or more make final, electronic manuscripts of articles in peer reviewed journals stemming from research funded by that agency publicly available over the Internet. The legislation seeks to extend and expand access to these federally funded research resources and importantly, accelerate scientific discovery as greater access and deployment of network-based technologies will spur advancement. Finally, this legislation reflects the growing trend by funders and campuses alike of adopting and implementing public access policies relating to federally funded research. For more information, see: http://www.arl.org/sparc/advocacy/frpaa/institutions.shtml
Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006
On May 2, 2006, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) introduced the "Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006." This legislation would require federal agencies with extramural research portfolios over $100 million to make the electronic versions of peer-reviewed manuscripts publicly available via the Internet within 6 months of publication. In addition, it calls for agency policy to ensure that the manuscripts are 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. Over 130 presidents and provosts wrote in strong support of this legislation when first introduced in 2006.
- FRPAA General FAQ
- FRPAA FAQ for Campuses
- 25 Provosts Endorse S. 2695
- LCA Letter in Support of FRPAA
- "Rallying Behind Open Access," Inside Higher Ed, July 28, 2006
AAP PR Campaign against Open Access and Public Access to Federally Funded Research, 2007
In 2007, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) launched a public relations campaign against public access initiatives concerning access to federally funded research and open access generally. The campaign presents an opportunity to engage in conversations with members of the campus community concerning the changes to the scholarly communication system and how this may affect scholarly journal publishing. ARL prepared two issue briefs (below) to provide talking points for working with members of the campus community regarding this campaign against open/public access initiatives and legislation concerning access to federally funded research.