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Past SPARC Policy Priorities

FASTR: Fair Access to Science & Technology Research Act

Open Access

This page documents SPARC’s past policy work and no longer reflects SPARC’s current policy priorities which call for a zero-embargo, full open access policy.

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act was filed with bipartisan support in both the U.S. House and Senate in the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses and would have codified a 2013 White House Directive requiring public access to government-funded research following an embargo period. 

As drafted in its final 2017 introduction, FASTR would have required 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, following a 6-month delay in the House version and a 12-month delay in the Senate version. In the 114th Congress, FASTR was passed unanimously out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In the years since FASTR’s last introduction, a growing consensus for zero-embargo, full open access policies has emerged among both public and private research funders. SPARC strongly endorses updating current US policy and eliminating the unnecessary 12-month waiting period for the public to gain access to the outputs of scientific research, including data, articles, and the supporting computer code.

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