This week, October 23-29, 2017, is International Open Access Week, a week to celebrate all things open access.
While there are a number of events happening worldwide, those of us in the United States should turn our attention to the bipartisan bill, Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act. This bill, if passed, would codify the 2013 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy memo requiring public access to taxpayer-funded research. It would do so by requiring agencies with extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to maintain policies that would provide public access to research results, no later than 6 (House version) or 12 months (Senate version) after publication in peer-reviewed journals, and to make them available under terms permitting reuse, such as text and data mining.
Access to research is fundamental in promoting and advancing progress. Research provides the very building blocks of understanding, learning and innovation. For Open Access Week, SPARC launched a fantastic website, celebrating openness with concrete examples: Open In Order To. As we promote progress on a diversity of issues, from addressing climate change, to solving malnutrition, to finding new medical technologies, we must ensure equitable access to research results, particularly those that the public has already paid for in terms of taxpayer-funded research. Congress should swiftly move to pass FASTR and promote the advancement of science and technology. #MoveFASTR. #OAWeek.