Academic alliance welcomes FASTR fair access act in USA

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SPARC, an international alliance of academic and research libraries, has welcomed the introduction of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act in the USA, which would ensure that public access to research articles becomes law.

FASTR is calling for federal agencies with extramural research budgets in excess of $100 million to establish consistent, permanent public access policies for articles reporting on their funded research.  

This means that articles reporting on the results of taxpayer-funded research would be made available to the general public to freely access and fully use.  FASTR would codify the 2013 White House Directive to provide greater public access to taxpayer-funded research.

'The introduction of the FASTR Act shows that open access continues to be a strong bipartisan issue in both the House and Senate – a rare feat these days,' said Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.  

'The Administration took a giant step forward in issuing an executive directive on public access in 2013. Although the agencies have started to release their plans, it is crucial that we make open access to taxpayer-funded research the law of the land.'

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act of 2015 is aimed at:

  • Representing the next step forward in the competitiveness agenda, spurring both innovation and job creation in broad sectors of the economy, from agriculture and energy to publishing;
  • Improving transparency and accountability in government spending; and
  • Expanding access to taxpayer-funded information while protecting classified research, royalty generating works, and preliminary data.