Another bill has been introduced in Congress to make publicly-funded research publicly available. The Washington post coverage portrays this as a rebuke to the lame response thus far to the NIH’s voluntary depository program. It also expands the domain of funded research beyond the biomedical sciences.
The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006, co-sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), goes considerably further than the NIH program. In addition to requiring public access within six months, not 12, it would apply to research funded by all 11 federal agencies that provide at least $100 million in outside funding per year — a category that includes the departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Homeland Security as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and the National Science Foundation.
Peter Suber mentions in his blog the bill’s three chief strengths: it makes open access a requirement, it has a six-month deadline, and does not rely on publisher consent. Needless to say the Association of American Publishers is not happy, but they’re not as quick to update their website as Peter Suber is so, as of this writing, you’ll have to take the Post’s word for it.