Research Works Act
The Research Works Act, also known as H.R. 3699, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives at the 112th United States Congress on December 16, 2011, by Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) and co-sponsored by Carolyn B. Maloney (D‑NY). The bill contains provisions to prohibit open-access mandates for federally funded research and effectively revert the NIH's Public Access Policy that requires taxpayer-funded research to be freely accessible online. If enacted, it would also severely restrict the sharing of scientific data. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, of which Issa is the chair. Similar bills were introduced in 2008 and 2009 but have not been enacted since. On February 27 2012, Darrell Issa and Carolyn Maloney issued a statement saying that they would not push for legislative action on the bill.
In contrast, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, the American Library Association, the International Society for Computational Biology, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories and prominent open science and open access advocates have criticized the Research Works Act, some of them urging scholarly societies to resign from the AAP because of its support for the bill. Several AAP members, including MIT Press, Rockefeller University Press, Nature Publishing Group, American Association for the Advancement of Science have stated their opposition to the bill but signaled no intention to leave the association. Other AAP members have since stated their opposition to the bill as well, and so have the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities as well as several public health groups.
Opponents of the bill stressed particularly the effects of this legislation on the public availability of biomedical research results, such as those funded by NIH grants, submitting that under the new bill "taxpayers who already paid for the research would have to pay again to read the results". Dr. Mike Taylor from the University of Bristol said that the bill's denial of access to scientific research would cause "preventable deaths in developing countries" and "an incalculable loss to science", and says that Representatives Issa and Maloney are motivated by large donations by the academic publisher Elsevier.
An online petition – The Cost of Knowledge – inspired by British mathematician and Fields medalist Timothy Gowers to raise awareness of the bill, to call for lower prices for journals and to promote increased open access to information, was signed by more than 10,000 scholars, who vowed to withhold their support from Elsevier journals as editors, reviewers or authors "unless they radically change how they operate". On February 27, 2012, Elsevier announced the withdrawal of its support for the bill, citing concerns from journal authors, editors, and reviewers. While participants in the boycott celebrated the dropping of support for the Research Works Act, Elsevier denied that their action was a result of the boycott and stated that they took this action at the request of those researchers who did not participate in the boycott.
The Research Works Act is the latest in a series of attempts to challenge institutional open-access mandates in the US.
On September 9, 2008, an earlier bill aimed at reversing the NIH's Public Access Policy – the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, or Conyers Bill – was introduced as H.R.6845 in the House of Representatives at the 110th United States Congress by U.S Representative John Conyers (D-MI), with Tom Feeney (R-FL), Darrell Issa and Robert Wexler (D-FL) acting as co-sponsors. It was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, to which Conyers delivered an introduction on September 10, 2008. After the start of the 111th United States Congress, Conyers reintroduced the bill to the House of Representatives as H.R.801 on February 3, 2009, co-sponsored by Steve Cohen (D-TN), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Darrell Issa, Carolyn Maloney and Robert Wexler. It was on the same day referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and on March 16 to the Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy.
On the other hand, the Federal Research Public Access Act proposed to expand the open public access mandate to research funded by eleven U.S. federal agencies. Originally introduced to the Senate in 2006 by John Cornyn (R-TX), with Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) acting as co-sponsors, it was reintroduced in 2009 by Lieberman, co-sponsored by Cornyn, and again in 2012. It would require that those eleven agencies, with research expenditures over $100 million, create online repositories of journal articles of the research completed by that agency and make them publicly available without charge within six months after it has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
- H.R. 3699
- Joseph, Heather (January 6, 2012). "Take Action: Oppose H.R. 3699, a new bill to block public access to publicly funded research". SPARC blog. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Trying to roll back the clock on Open Access statement by the American Library Association that "vehemently opposes the bill".
- "NIH Public Access Policy Details". nih.gov. Archived from the original on 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- Dobbs, David (January 6, 2012). "Congress Considers Paywalling Science You Already Paid For". Wired. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012.
- Piwowar, Heather. Research Works Act Attacks Data Dissemination Too
- H.R. 3699: Research Works Act: Committee Assignments
- List of members elected to the standing committees of the House of Representatives on January 5, 2011
- Peter Suber (October 2, 2008). "A bill to overturn the NIH policy". SPARC Open Access Newsletter. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- Peter Suber (March 2, 2009). "Re-introduction of the bill to kill the NIH policy". SPARC Open Access Newsletter. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- Rosen, Rebecca J. (January 5, 2012). "Why Is Open-Internet Champion Darrell Issa Supporting an Attack on Open Science?". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012.
- Howard, Jennifer (February 27 2012). "Legislation to Bar Public-Access Requirement on Federal Research Is Dead". Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Sporkin, Andi (December 23, 2011). "Publishers Applaud “Research Works Act,” Bipartisan Legislation To End Government Mandates on Private-Sector Scholarly Publishing". Association of American Publishers. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012.
- Statement from Copyright Alliance Executive Director Sandra Aistars, Re: Introduction of H.R. 3699, the Research Works Act
- Joseph, Heather; McLennan, Jennifer (January 6, 2012). "Call to action: Oppose H.R. 3699, a bill to block public access to publicly funded research". Alliance for Taxpayer Access. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Jacobs, Grant (January 11, 2012). "ISCB to respond to Research Works Act (HR 3699)". Code for Life. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- "Maximizing the visibility of research outputs: COAR call for action". Confederation of Open Access Repositories website. February 6, 2012. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Harnad, Stevan (January 7, 2012). "Research Works Act H.R.3699: The Private Publishing Tail Trying To Wag The Public Research Dog, Yet Again". Open Access Archivangelism. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Eisen, Michael (January 5, 2012). "Elsevier-funded NY Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Wants to Deny Americans Access to Taxpayer Funded Research". Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Murray-Rust, Peter (January 6, 2012). "The Scholarly Poor could lose access to scientific research; this is serious". Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- O'Reilly, Tim (January 5, 2012). "Oppose H.R. 3699: To ensure the continued publication and integrity of peer-reviewed research works by the private sector". Letters to Congress. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Peter Suber (January 6, 2012). "New bill to block open access to publicly-funded research". Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- Eisen, Michael (January 7, 2012). "Our scientific societies need to quit the Association of American Publishers". Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Dupuis, John (January 5, 2012). "Scholarly Societies: It's time to abandon the AAP over The Research Works Act". Confessions of a Science Librarian.
- Richard Poynder (January 11, 2012). "MIT Press distances itself from Research Works Act". Open and Shut. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- "Notes on the Research Works Act". Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- Hunter R. Rawlings III (February 6, 2012). "AAU, APLU Express Opposition to Research Works Act". Association of American Universities website. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Hunter R. Rawlings III (February 9, 2012). "Seven public health groups write to oppose the "Research Works Act"". Knowledge Ecology International. Archived from the original on February 9, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Eisen, Michael (January 10, 2012). "Research Bought, Then Paid For". New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
- Taylor, Mike (16 January 2011). "Academic publishers have become the enemies of science". The Guardian.
- "The Cost of Knowledge". Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- "Elsevier withdraws support for the Research Works Act". Elsevier. February 27, 2012.
- Doctorow, Cory (28 February 2012). "Elsevier withdraws support from Research Works Act, bill collapses". BoingBoing. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- Howard, Jennifer (27 February 2012). "Legislation to Bar Public-Access Requirement on Federal Research Is Dead". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "Bill Text 110th Congress (2007–2008) H.R.6845.IH". The Library of Congress.
- "Speech of John Conyers in the House of Representatives, September 10, 2008". The Library of Congress.
- "Bill Text 111th Congress (2009–2010) H.R.801.IH". The Library of Congress.
- "Bill summary and status, H.R.801". The Library of Congress.
- S. 2695
- S. 1373
- Kaiser, Jocelyn (10 February 2012). "Lawmakers Reintroduce Public Access Bill". ScienceInsider. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Federal Research Public Access Act 2006".