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Tuesday, June 8, 2021 News

SPARC Statement on Public Access Provisions in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act

Open Access

We are pleased to see the U.S. Senate endorse language that strongly supports providing faster access to taxpayer-funded research results with today’s passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260). 

Section 2527 of the bill, formerly the Endless Frontier Act, (titled “Basic Research”) includes language originally written by Senator Wyden and supported by Senator Paul that directs federal agencies funding more than $100 million annually in research grants to develop a policy that provides for free online public access to federally-funded research “not later than 12 months after publication in peer-reviewed journals, preferably sooner.” 

The bill also provides important guidance that will maximize the impact of federally-funded research by ensuring that final author manuscripts reporting on taxpayer funded research are:

  • Deposited into federally designated or maintained repositories;
  • Made available in open and machine readable formats; 
  • Made available under licenses that enable productive reuse and computational analysis; and
  • Housed in repositories that ensure interoperability and long-term preservation. 

While SPARC opposes any embargo on scientific articles, we are pleased to see the Senate indicate a strong preference for a shorter embargo period with the passage of this language. As countries around the world rapidly adopt open access policies, SPARC is committed to ensuring an open and equitable system for sharing the results of scientific research in the United States. We look forward to working with Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration in moving towards a national open access policy that provides for immediate access to taxpayer-funded research. This will ensure that we are positioned as a nation to combat pressing scientific concerns including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

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