Subject: I oppose H.R. 3699
On behalf of [your organization], I am writing to strongly oppose H.R. 3699, the “Research Works Act," introduced on December 16, and referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. This bill would prohibit federal agencies from conditioning their grant funding to require that all members of the public be guaranteed online access to the products of the research that their tax dollars fund. This bill will deny students guaranteed access to cutting-edge research upon which their education depends, and significantly inhibit our ability to advance scientific discovery and stimulate innovation in all scientific disciplines.
Most critically, H.R. 3699 would reverse the highly successful National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy, prohibit American taxpayers from accessing the results of the crucial biomedical research funded by their taxpayer dollars, and stifle critical advancements in life-saving research and scientific discovery.
Because of the NIH Public Access Policy, millions of Americans now have access to vital health care information from the NIH's PubMed Central database. Under the current policy, more than 90,000 new biomedical manuscripts are deposited for public accessibility each year. H.R. 3699 would prohibit the deposit of these manuscripts, seriously impeding the ability of researchers, physicians, healthcare professionals, families, and students to access and use this critical health-related information in a timely manner.
H.R. 3699 affects not only the results of biomedical research produced by the NIH, but also scientific research coming from all other federal agencies. Access to critical information on energy, the environment, climate change, and hundreds of other areas that directly impact the lives and well being of the public would be unfairly limited by this proposed legislation.
Research articles, a significant portion of which are government-funded, are the building blocks of a student’s education – from the core to the cutting edge. Students – and the professors who teach them – must have access to the most current research to receive a complete, up-to-date education. Rather than impede access to these resources, as the Research Works Act does, the government should actively ensure students get the full benefit of our collective investment in science. After all, our future economic competitiveness will rely on workers with an advanced education in fields like biotechnology and clean energy that depends on unfettered access to the research literature.
[Why you support taxpayer access and how it effects you personally].
The NIH and other agencies must be allowed to ensure timely, public access to the results of research funded with taxpayer dollars. Please oppose H.R. 3699.