Publishers, societies oppose 'public access' bill

Legislation requiring scientists to post peer-reviewed papers online within six months of publication draws criticism

Ted Agres
May 10, 2006
A Senate bill that would require federally funded scientists to post their research papers freely on the Internet is drawing fire from many journal publishers and scientific societies. The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (S 2695), introduced last week, mandates that scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies make their research results available without charge within six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.The legislation, sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), applies to all research funded by NIH and 10 other Federal agencies that annually award more than $100 million in extramural research grants. These include the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Homeland Security.Not-for-profit research societies generally depend on journal subscription revenue to support peer review, scientific outreach, and other activities. Many fear that if articles become...

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