On July 29th, a US Senate panel approved the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, a bill that would require the largest federal agencies to make the peer-reviewed research papers they fund freely available to the public. The bill now moves to the full Senate for a vote, and has been introduced into the House.
This bipartisan measure, if it is approved by both chambers of Congress and signed by the president, would ensure that the 2013 White House requirement from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) would remain in place in future administrations.
Both FASTR and the White House directive require federal agencies that fund over $100M in research annually to make articles they fund openly accessible within 12 months of publication.
Representative Doyle, one of the supporters in the House, explains that this bill matters because it “will give the American people greater access to the scientific research they’ve already paid for. …[and] will facilitate the dissemination of new knowledge within the scientific community” which “will accelerate innovation and economic growth.”