U.S. House Introduces FIRST Act

March 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations | Leave a comment

On March 10th, House Science Committee Chair Lamar Smith and Rep. Larry Buchson introduced the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act (HR 4186).  Advocates for open access have noted that the bill’s language (Section 303) counteracts the efforts of the library and scholarly communities to support the establishment of public access policies to articles and data in US Federal Science Agencies.  According to SPARC, Section 303 would specifically:

  • “Establish a minimum allowed embargo period of 24 months, and allow its further extension to 36 months. No provisions to reduce embargo periods are included in the legislation.”
  • “Sanction simply linking to full text of articles on publishers websites, without ensuring that federal agencies retain a copy of the text of the articles reporting on their funded research…”
  • “Require federal agencies to repeat the work that they have already done in drafting plans for policies as required by the White House Directive on public access, and introduce an additional 18 month minimum delay while this work is duplicated.”

Librarians who are interested in this issue are urged to immediately contact the members of the House Science Committee and oppose Section 303 of this bill.  For more information, please refer to the Action Alert that was recently issued by MLA.

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Committee]

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