Open Access and Federal Policy

On February 22, 2013, the Federal Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a policy memorandum directing Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication. The policy also requires researchers to do a better job of accounting for and managing the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research. OSTP has been looking into this issue for some time, soliciting broad public input on multiple occasions and convening an interagency working group to develop its policy. Visit OSTP’s website to learn more about the policy and the process leading up to it: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/22/expanding-public-access-results-federally-funded-research

In an unprecedented convergence of opinion from both sides of the open access issue, the Association of American Publishers praised the new policy, which it said “outlines a reasonable, balanced resolution of issues around public access to research funded by federal agencies.” Likewise, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) also praised the policy calling it “… a watershed moment. The Administration’s action marks a major step forward towards open access to scientific research.The Directive will accelerate scientific discovery, improve education, and empower entrepreneurs to translate research into commercial ventures and jobs. It’s good for our nation, our economy, and our future.” To learn more about the new policy and the reaction to it, read Jennifer Howard’s article in the Chronicle of Higher Education “White House Delivers New Open-Access Policy That Has Activists Cheering” at http://chronicle.com/article/White-House-Delivers-New/137549/?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

To learn why open access to research matters to students and faculty, both as users and creators of information, check out any number of presentations and articles in the USFSP Digital Archive under the subject “open access”

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