From the September 2008 SPARC News:
On September 9, Representative John Conyers (D-MI), Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, introduced legislation that would amend U.S. copyright law, overturn the NIH Public Access Policy, and effectively make it illegal for other U.S. federal agencies to enact similar policies. The proposed legislation is the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (HR6845).
On September 11, 2008, the House Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held a hearing to discuss the proposed legislation. Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC and convener of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, spoke on behalf of the libraries, research institutions, consumer groups, publishing organizations, and patients who support public access and the NIH Policy. Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director of the NIH, also testified to the tremendous advances in science that have already taken place due to public access to NIH-funded research. Transcripts of both Dr. Zerhouni's [PDF] and Ms. Joseph's [PDF] testimony are available online as is as the video [SMI] of the hearing.
The supportive testimony was the culmination of weeks' worth of active engagement by members of the wide coalition that supports public access. Letters that were submitted to Congress to express support for the policy and oppose HR6845 include: Nine national and regional library, publishing, and advocacy organizations [PDF]; and 33 Nobel prize-winners [PDF].
Supporters are encouraged to contact their Senators and Representatives to affirm their support for free and open access to publicly funded research and ask that they oppose HR6845. A specific call to action will be issued shortly. Please visit the ATA Web site for updates.
If you're looking at a long list of published works that may be candidates for deposit to the University Digital Conservancy or another repository, it's difficult to know where to begin. SHERPA/RoMEO made determining which of those items are the "low hanging fruit" a little easier last week when they added this page to their site:
The page lists all publishers that allow authors to deposit the published version of their article into their institutional repository. As of today, the list includes 51 publishers that allow deposit with no embargo or fee. You'll still need to check the individual publisher's record--some require things like a link to the publisher's site--but you won't need to find the author's post-refereed final draft.