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Past SPARC Policy Priorities

Oppose: Research Works Act

Open Access

Support for the Research Works Act was withdrawn by its sponsors on February 27, 2012.

The Research Works Act was introduced on December 16, 2011 by Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). The proposed legislation was designed to roll back the 2008 NIH Public Access Policy and block the development of similar policies at other federal agencies.

The bill sought to prohibit federal agencies from conditioning their grants to require that articles reporting on publicly funded research be made accessible to the public online.

The bill text is short and to the point. The main point reads:

“No Federal agency may adopt, implement, maintain, continue, or otherwise engage in any policy, program, or other activity that — (1) causes, permits, or authorizes network dissemination of any private-sector research work without the prior consent of the publisher of such work; or (2) requires that any actual or prospective author, or the employer of such an actual or prospective author, assent to network dissemination of a private-sector research work.”

Supporters of public access to the results of publicly funded research spoke out against this proposed legislation causing the sponsors of this bill to pull back their support. The bill did not progress in the House of Representatives.

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