Open Access: a game changer?

US Congress has introduced a bill that would mandate public access to publicly-funded federal research. The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced in Congress February 14 on a bi-partisan basis. The bill would require that federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from publicly-funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. If enacted in law, the Act will have impact on academic publishing, including mathematics education research, all over the world.

Some quotes from the Act

Each Federal research public access policy shall provide for—

(1) submission to the Federal agency of an electronic version of the author’s final manuscript of original research papers that have been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and that result from research supported, in whole or in part, from funding by the Federal Government;

(2) the incorporation of all changes resulting from the peer review publication process in the manuscript described under paragraph (1);

(3) the replacement of the final manuscript with the final published version if—

(A) the publisher consents to the replacement; and

(B) the goals of the Federal agency for functionality and interoperability are retained;

(4) free online public access to such final peer-reviewed manuscripts or published versions as soon as practicable, but not later than 6 months after publication in peer-reviewed journals;

(5) providing research papers as described in paragraph (4) in formats and under terms that enable productive reuse, including computational analysis by state-of-the-art technologies;

(6) production of an online bibliography of all research papers that are publicly accessible under the policy, with each entry linking to the corresponding free online full text; and

(7) long-term preservation of, and free public access to, published research findings—

(A) in a stable digital repository maintained by the Federal agency; or

(B) if consistent with the purposes of the Federal agency, in any repository meeting conditions determined favorable by the Federal agency, including free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation.

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