A new bipartisan bill introduced last week proposes to make all taxpayer-funded research freely available in a public database “as soon as practicable,” but no later than 6 months after publication in a journal. The legislation, known as the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), builds upon the existing National Institutes of Health’s Public Access Policy, which mandates all NIH-funded research be made available within 12 months of publication in the public online repository PubMed Central. Like the NIH policy, the mandate applies only to the authors’ peer-reviewed manuscripts, but it does not specify where the manuscripts should be deposited. (Hat tip to Wired)
The NIH Public Access Policy is currently being challenged in the US House of Representatives by the Research Works Act, which was introduced late last year and which would prohibit federal agencies from disseminating any work without the consent of the publisher or the assent of the author or the author’s employer.