Right to Research Coalition


Act now! Support the bipartisan Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA)

Students! Act now to support the bipartisan Federal Research Public Access Act (S. 2096, H.R. 4004).  This important legislation would provide students - and the rest of the public - with unprecedented free and timely access to all articles resulting from federally funded research.

We currently have a unique opportunity to create change.  The Research Works Act, a piece of legislation introduced in December that would ban the government from providing the public access to publicly funded research, has galvanized the research community into acting against practices that restrict access to research articles – reaching the pages of the Economist, the New York Times, Wired, the Guardian, the Boston Globe, Slatethe Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other outlets.

Furthermore, the publishers of the two most prestigious scientific journals, Science and Nature, have not only opposed the Research Works Act but also endorsed the National Institutes of Health public access policy, which FRPAA would extend to the other federal science agencies.

With reinvigorated support from the research community and attention from the mainstream media, now is the time to push for this groundbreaking legislation and let Congress know that students - and the rest of the public - deserve access to the research which they paid for and upon which their education depends.

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Act now!

Let Congress know you support FRPAA

Raise awareness of and build support for FRPAA


Now before both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Federal Research Public Access Act (S. 2096, H.R. 4004) would require those 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 no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

This bill would revolutionize students' access to the tools necessary for a complete, up-to-date education. Even at well funded universities, students - and those who teach them - often cannot get access to significant portions of the scholarly record due to prohibitive price barriers.  The vast collection of articles FRPAA would make freely available - representing a significant portion of all researched published in the United States - would provide students with an unprecedented educational resource and level the playing field for those at less wealthy institutions.

The bill specifically covers unclassified research funded by agencies including: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

FRPAA reflects the growing trend among funding agencies – and college and university campuses – to leverage their investment in the conduct of research by maximizing the dissemination of results.  It follows the successful path forged by the NIH’s Public Access Policy, as well as by private funders like the Wellcome Trust and campuses such as Harvard, MIT, and the University of Kansas. The bill also reflects the Obama Administration’s recent expression of interest in the potential implementation of public access policies across U.S. science and technology agencies – as indicated by the call for public comment issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which closed in January.

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