The Nobelists are urging Congress to support a bipartisan bill, The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S. 1373), introduced by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and John Cornyn (R-TX), which would require the results of taxpayer-funded scientific research to be broadly and quickly shared, speeding the progress of science and its subsequent benefits to the public. S.1373 would ensure that articles describing the results of research conducted at the 11 departments and agencies that spend more than $100 million on research each year be made publicly available online within six months of publication.
The removal of access barriers and the expanded use of these research results can dramatically transform how scientists and citizens approach issues of vital importance to the public, such as medicine, climate change, and sustainable energy solutions. It is a crucial building block in laying a strong national foundation to support accelerated discovery and innovation, which will in turn create economic and social benefits for the taxpayers who supported the research.
S.1373 encourages broader participation in the scientific process by providing equitable access to high-quality research results, empowering the public to become engaged in citizen science efforts and equipping entrepreneurs and small business owners with the latest research developments, allowing us to more effectively compete in the development of new technologies and innovations. The bill is widely supported by scientists, higher education institutions, students, consumer groups, patient advocacy groups and members of the public.
The full text of the Nobelists’ letter and more information on S.1373 can be found at: http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/frpaa.
Heather Joseph is Spokesperson for the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, a coalition of advocacy, academic, research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to the results of federally funded research. The Alliance is online at http://www.taxpayeraccess.org.