Excerpted from Josh Hadro's12/17/2009 article in Library Journal:
On December 10, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced a public forum to discuss public access to federally funded research. "The administration is dedicated to maximizing the return on Federal investments in R&D," reads the announcement in the Federal Register [PDF].
The discussion focuses largely on proposal to extend to other governmental agencies--such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and NASA--a public access mandate similar to the one governing National Institute of Health-funded research. The National Institute of Health (NIH) is itself the largest federal funder of research, awarding more than $30.5 billion annually, and is covered by the December 2007 mandatory public access policy requiring the deposit of funded articles into the PubMed Central digital archive.
The OSTP post also goes on to outline a number of the arguments commonly put forward in favor of open access, including simplified access to scholarly publications and a central storage and search infrastructure that would facilitate researchers' ability to use the materials.
In line with the Obama administration's determination to use the web as a means of engaging with the public, OSTP is soliciting comment via blog in three parts: on implementation (December 10 to 20), features and technology (December 21 to 31), and management (January 1 to 7). The discussion on OSTP's blog also parallels a more traditional call for public comment to be published in the Federal Register.
From January to November 2009, U-MN faculty published 30 articles in Public Library of Science journals. This represents a 57% increase over 2008. PLoS maintains rigorous standards of peer review; less than half of the articles submitted by UMN faculty were accepted for publication.
Two thirds of the accepted articles were published in PLoS One, PLoS' vehicle "for the swift publication of original research in all areas of science and medicine, with innovative user tools for post-publication commenting, rating, and discussion."
Faculty from these UMN departments published in PLoS in 2009:
Excerpted from MIT's newspaper, The Tech, November 17, 2009:
MIT's Graduate Student Council (GSC) recently added national policy to its otherwise campus-based advocacy agenda, pushing for tax exemption of graduate student stipends, open access to federally funded published research, and higher caps on H1-B visas for advanced-degree holders to members of Congress earlier this fall.
The GSC also felt that the pending Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S. 1373) was worth lobbying for. By making federally funded research over $100 million dollars open access, it would "enhance advanced research access and ensure that taxpayer-funded research is available to those who paid for it."
McComber also pointed out that "one of the big expenses [for MIT libraries] is journal subscriptions," making federally funded research open access appealing to MIT grad students and taxpayers alike.
"Publishers are commanding a very unhealthy sum in this area," said Chan.
Solidifying their platform on these lobbying issues, the GSC signed "The Student Statement on the Right to Research" on the Federal Research Public Access Act and plans to continue lobbying efforts in the spring.