A showdown is looming in Congress as defenders of the public interest have moved to counter the special interest sellout of the pending Research Works Act (RWA), which would end public access to the results of Federally funded research. A bipartisan group of legislators in both houses of Congress just introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) of 2012 which would require Federal agencies that fund significant amounts of extramural research (more than $100 million per year) to implement public access policies similar in aims to that already in place at the NIH.
Let’s make sure the good guys win by transforming the public outcry against RWA into support for FRPAA. Write to your reps and urge them to support the bill, and write to the following legislators to thank them for their ongoing support of this important piece of public policy:
- Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) (@usrepmikedoyle)
- Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS)
- Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO)
- Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) (@johncornyn)
- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) (@ronwyden)
The big question now is whether all the publishers who disowned the Research Works Act amidst its bad publicity will take the logical next step and express their support for FRPAA. I’m sure the Association of American Publishers and Elsevier will come out against FRPAA, but public support for the bill from other members of the AAP would greatly undermine their stance. I’m particularly interested to see where the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology will come down on this. FASEB, an umbrella group that represents many scientific societies in the US, has a very effective lobbying effort, and do a lot of great things to support science and science funding in the US. Their history with respect to public access is mixed, however. It would be a big step forward if they came out in support of FRPAA, and would be a major step towards its passage. If you are a member of any FASEB societies, urge them to express their support for FRPAA publicly, as well as to FASEB leadership.