On March 20 some 24 new co-sponsors signed on to H.R. 4004, The Federal Research Public Access Act. Joining the bill’s original sponsors, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) are 14 Democrats and ten Republicans from 18 states and the District of Columbia.
The move follows a briefing on March 19 hosted by Doyle’s office. According to SPARC, the event featured addresses by Dr. Neil Thakur, Special Assistant to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Deputy Director for Extramural Research and Program Manager for the NIH Public Access Policy; and Elliot Maxwell, Program Director of the Digital Connections Council of the Committee for Economic Development and author of the recent Kaufman Foundation for Entrepreneurship-funded report, “The Future of Taxpayer-Funded Research: Who Will Control Access to the Results?”
Doyle initially introduced the bill in February, as LJ reported (an identical measure was introduced in the Senate).
The bill is backed by the American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, Association of College & Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, Creative Commons, Greater Western Library Alliance, Public Knowledge, Public Library of Science and the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), as well as leaders of many research universities.
It has been opposed by the Association of American Publishers’ Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division (AAP/PSP) and the DC Principles Coalition in letters signed by 81 U.S. scholarly journal publishers, including Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Springer Publishing Company, Taylor & Francis, and Wolters Kluwer, as well as a large number of professional societies.
On March 29 at 9:30 a.m. the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight will hold a hearing on Examining Public Access and Scholarly Publication Interests.