Past SPARC Policy Priorities

Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)

Open Access

[The Federal Research Public Access Act was introduced in the 112th Congress and is no longer active. It was succeeded by the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act in the 113th and 114th Congresses.]

The Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)

The Federal Research Public Access Act was introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives in February 2012 by Senators Cornyn (R-TX), Wyden (D-OR) and Hutchison (R-TX), and Representatives Doyle (D-PA), Yoder (R-KS) and Clay (D-MO).


FRPAA would require that 11 U.S. government agencies with annual extramural research expenditures over $100 million make manuscripts of journal articles stemming from research funded by that agency publicly available via the Internet. The manuscripts will be maintained and preserved in a digital archive maintained by the agency or in another suitable repository that permits free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation. Each manuscript will be freely available to users without charge within six months after it has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.


Every year, the federal government funds tens of billions of dollars in basic and applied research. Most of this funding is concentrated within 11 departments/agencies (e.g., National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Department of Energy). The research results typically are reported in articles published in a wide variety of academic journals. From NIH funding alone, it is estimated that about 95,000 papers are published each year.

Because U.S. taxpayers underwrite this research, they have a right to expect that its dissemination and use will be maximized, and that they themselves will have access to it. If this information is shared with all potential users, it will advance science and improve the lives and welfare of people of the United States and the world. This is an achievable goal – today. The Internet has revolutionized information sharing and has made it possible to make the latest advances promptly available to every scientist, physician, educator, and citizen at their homes, schools, or libraries.

Learn more about our work