Public Access in the Media
European countries demand that publicly funded research be free
September 14, 2018
Most researchers’ work remains fenced off by an online paywall. That may change with a radical European initiative unveiled earlier this month.
Scientific publishing is a rip-off. We fund the research – it should be free
September 13, 2018
Academic publishing might sound like an obscure and fusty affair, but it uses one of the most ruthless and profitable business models of any industry.
An explosion of openness is about to hit scientific publishing
September 4, 2018
Major European countries are mandating that publicly-funded research should appear only in open-access journals.
Coalition of European Funders Announces “Plan S” to Require Full OA, Cap APCs, & Disallow Publication in Hybrid Journals
September 4, 2018
A group of 10 European research funders, supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council released plans to mandate a move to full, immediate Open Access for all of their funded research articles by January 1, 2020.
California Bill Is a Win for Access to Scientific Research
August 30, 2018
The California legislature just scored a huge win in the fight for open access to scientific research.
Who Gets to Read the Research We Pay For?
August 21, 2018
Scientific journals’ lock on new studies has ignited tension for years. When it comes to access for people with rare diseases, it becomes an ethical issue too.
OPEN Government Data Act sees a clear path through Congress as part of NDAA
September 15, 2017
The bill, which sets the “presumption” that government data should be presented as open and machine-readable data, passed the Senate in December 2016 but didn’t quite make it into law. Now, a tweaked version has been added as an amendment to NDAA, a tactic sponsors anticipate will yield success.
FASTR Legislation Would Ensure Permanency of Public Access to Scientific Research
July 26, 2017
SPARC today applauded the introduction of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, which would ensure that public access to research articles becomes the law of the land.
OPEN Government Data Act moves to Senate floor after markup
May 18, 2017
Legislation requiring federal agencies to publish their data online in a searchable, nonproprietary, machine-readable format has been cleared for the Senate following a May 17 markup by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Why IBM, AWS, others care about open government data
April 5, 2017
More than 80 organizations, including big tech companies such as Yelp, want the government to act quickly on the OPEN Government Data Act. The bill, reintroduced recently by a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers, would set a presumption that all government data be published in open, machine-readable formats.
Open Science Prize Demonstrates Power of Open Research
April 4, 2017
Open Science has long held the promise of changing the world. Now, concrete examples are emerging that illustrate how open collaboration among researchers is doing just that. The first-ever Open Science Prize, sponsored by a collaboration among the U.K.-based Wellcome Trust, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, encouraged researchers who used open as an enabling strategy to develop innovative tools and services that could unleash the power of data to advance discovery and improve health around the world.
Prominent Funding Organizations Team Up to Launch Open Research Funders Group
December 15, 2016
Eight highly-visible organizations today announced the launch of the Open Research Funders Group, a partnership designed to increase access to research outputs. With nearly $5 billion in combined annual grants conferred, these organizations are committed to using their positions to foster more open sharing of research articles and data. This openness, the members believe, will accelerate the pace of discovery, reduce information-sharing gaps, encourage innovation, and promote reproducibility.
Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot Report Takes Additional Steps Towards Open Data, Nods at Open Access to Publications
October 17, 2016
This afternoon, Vice President Biden presented a comprehensive report on his Cancer Moonshot Initiative during an event at the White House. He noted that while the Moonshot has sparked a new sense of urgency in the cancer research arena, large challenges remain, including a lack of coordination among researchers, an outdated research funding culture, and (no surprise here) the continued slow communication of crucial information about the disease.
Farenthold: Cyber will be next administration’s great challenge
June 14, 2016
Farenthold is one of a bipartisan group of lawmakers attempting to pass the OPEN Government Data Act, which would require that federal data be published in a machine-readable, easily navigable format. The legislation would codify President Barack Obama’s 2013 executive order on the same topic.
Vice President Biden Calls for Open Access, Open Data, & New Research Incentives for Cancer Research
April 21, 2016
Launched by the Administration in January of this year, the $1 billion Cancer Moonshot initiative aims to achieve ten years worth of progress in cancer research in half that time. Vice President Joe Biden has met with thousands of stakeholders across all sectors, seeking suggestions for how to remove the barriers that are currently blocking progress in science, research, and development.
Why Is It So Expensive to Read Academic Research?
April 6, 2016
The serials pricing crisis has been busting academic libraries’ budgets—and creating ever-widening information gaps between rich and poor countries—since the 1970s, when subscription prices to academic journals first started rising faster than the rate of inflation.
In Science, Inspiration Can Come From Unlikely Places
April 6, 2016
A mom reached out to a scientist with a novel idea for an experiment. Years later, her hunch has blossomed into a published scientific study.
The Science of the Tax-Dollar Double Dip
March 30, 2016
Much research is federally funded, but if you want to see what you paid for, that’s going to cost you—again.
Taking the online medicine
March 19, 2016
Old-fashioned ways of reporting new discoveries are holding back medical research. Some scientists are pushing for change.
Senate panel passes bill to give public access to more research
July 30, 2015
A Senate panel on Wednesday passed legislation to require certain federally funded research to be open to the public. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee cleared the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act by voice vote, along with 10 other pieces of legislation.
FASTR Approved by Senate Committee
July 30, 2015
On July 29 the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) unanimously passed S. 779, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act by voice vote.
SPARC Applauds Senate Committee Action on Public Access Legislation
July 29, 2015
The Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) today passed S. 779, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, unanimously by voice vote and moved it to the full Senate for consideration. This marks the first time the Senate has acted on a government-wide policy ensuring public access to the results of publicly funded research, and is an important step towards codifying the progress made by the 2013 White House OSTP Directive.
Senate panel approves public access bill
July 29, 2015
Open-access advocates are heralding a Senate panel’s approval today of a bill that would require U.S. science agencies to make the peer-reviewed research papers they fund freely available to the public. Although a similar White House policy is already in place, supporters say the bipartisan measure—if approved by both chambers of Congress and signed by the president—would ensure the requirement stands through future administrations.
Small Steps Matter: FASTR Passes Senate Committee Hurdle
July 29, 2015
It’s indeed a truism to say that changes in U.S. public policy happen slowly; entrenched interests fight against what they perceive to be radical changes, and most policymakers are reluctant to change things too quickly. As a result, most advances are incremental, with new policies building on existing ones, step by tiny step. However, over time, these tiny steps accumulate, and we look up to find that they have combined to produce meaningful progress and real change.
FASTR to be Considered by Senate Committee
July 27, 2015
After a month of intense conversations and negotiations, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) will bring the “Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act” up for mark-up on Wednesday, July 29th. The language that will be considered is an amended version of FASTR, officially known as the ‘Johnson-Carper Substitute Amendment,’ which was officially filed by the HSGAC leadership late on Friday afternoon, per committee rules.
Don’t Think Open Access Is Important? It Might Have Prevented Much Of The Ebola Outbreak
April 10, 2015
For years now, we've been talking up the importance of open access to scientific research. Big journals like Elsevier have generally fought against this at every point, arguing that its profits are more important that some hippy dippy idea around sharing knowledge. Except, as we've been trying to explain, it's that sharing of knowledge that leads to innovation and big health breakthroughs. Unfortunately, it's often pretty difficult to come up with a concrete example of what didn't happen because of locked up knowledge. And yet, it appears we have one new example that's rather stunning: it looks like the worst of the Ebola outbreak from the past few months might have been avoided if key research had been open access, rather than locked up.
“FASTR” Legislation Would Ensure Permanency of Public Access to Scientific Research
March 18, 2015
SPARC today applauded the reintroduction of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, which would ensure that public access to research articles becomes the law of the land.
Gates Goes Open
November 24, 2014
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will require grant recipients to make their research publicly available online -- a multibillion-dollar boost to the open access movement. The sweeping open access policy, which signals the foundation’s full-throated approval for the public availability of research, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2015, and cover all new projects made possible with funding from the foundation.
The Gates Foundation pushes to make more academic research free and open to the public
November 24, 2014
The Gates Foundation spends about $900 million each year funding scientific research — which results in about 1,400 research papers on various aspects of global health. Under the new policy, the researchers that the organization funds will only be able to publish papers that are immediately freely accessible to the public.
Gates Foundation to require immediate free access for journal articles
November 21, 2014
Breaking new ground for the open-access movement, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a major funder of global health research, plans to require that the researchers it funds publish only in journals that offer immediate open access.
California Passes Open Access Legislation
October 1, 2014
On September 29th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB609, The California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act, into law. This first-of-its-kind legislation requires that articles reporting on research funded by the California Department of Public Health be made openly available to the public through online repositories no later than 12 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.