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US House and Senate introduce bipartisan bill to unlock federally funded research, improve students’ educations

Published Feb 9, 2012, 5:48pm

For immediate release
February 09, 2012

For more information, contact:

Nick Shockey
Director, Right to Research Coalition
+1 202 296 2296
nick [at] arl [dot] org

US House and Senate introduce bipartisan bill to unlock federally funded research, improve students’ educations

Washington, DC – In a coordinated effort signaling the importance of public access to publicly funded research, both chambers of the United States Congress today introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act, important legislation which would improve American higher education by requiring that federally funded research be made openly available to the public.  The bipartisan bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), and Lacy Clay (D-MO), and in the Senate by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).

The Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) would unlock the United States’ $60 billion annual investment in research that yields a significant portion of all peer-reviewed articles published every year. These articles form the basis of students’ educations in nearly any field, from the core to the cutting edge.  Making all federal research openly available will significantly expand students’ access to the resources necessary for a complete, up-to-date education.

“The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS) strongly supports the Federal Research Public Access Act,” said NAGPS President and CEO, Matt Cooper.  “Empowering students with open access to federally funded research will significantly improve graduate and professional education in the US and boost American competitiveness in the global economy.  In an era of severe budget pressures in higher education, open availability of this research will enable all graduate and professional students in the US to quickly incorporate new knowledge into their research, teaching, and education.”

By improving undergraduate and graduate education, FRPAA will also benefit students when it comes to putting their educations to use after graduation. Students – with the benefit of more up-to-date training – will be better able to hit the ground running in their careers and contribute immediately in both the public and private sectors.

“The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) applauds the introduction of the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA),” said Danielle Salovich, AMSA’s National President. “AMSA members rely on publicly funded research during their training as students and later as practicing physicians. By ensuring medical educators and trainees have unfettered access to the most cutting-edge research, FRPAA will produce a health professions workforce better prepared to serve the U.S. health care needs and compete in the global economy. On behalf of the nation's future physicians, AMSA continues to support free and timely access to federal research and urges swift passage of FRPAA.”



Founded by students in the summer of 2009, the Right to Research Coalition is an international alliance undergraduate and graduate student organizations, representing nearly 7 million students, that promotes Open Access to scholarship.  The Right to Research Coalition believes no student should be denied access to the published articles they need, because they or their institution cannot afford access.  The coalition works to educate the next generation of scholars and researchers about Open Access and to advocate for policies at the campus, national, and international levels that expand access to the results of research.

The Right to Research Coalition is supported by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

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