Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act

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Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title A bill to provide for Federal agencies to develop public access policies relating to research conducted by employees of that agency or from funds administered by that agency.
Acronyms (colloquial) FASTR
Legislative history

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) is a bill that would mandate earlier public release of taxpayer-funded research. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced the Senate version in 2013 and 2015, while the bill was introduced to the House by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) and Kevin Yoder (R-Kans.). The bill is a successor to the Federal Research Public Access Act, which had been introduced in 2006, 2010, and 2012.

Sen. Wyden explained the bill in a press release:

"Breakthroughs in technology, science, medicine and dozens of other disciplines are made every year due to the billions in research funding provided by the American people. Making those findings available to all Americans is the best way to lead the next generation of discovery and innovation or create the next game-changing business. The FASTR act provides that access because taxpayer funded research should never be hidden behind a paywall."[1]

FASTR has been described as "The Other Aaron's Law", named for open-access activist Aaron Swartz who died in January 2013.[2]

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs unanimously approved the bill on July 29, 2015. It was the first time that the bill or any of its predecessors had gained committee approval and been forwarded to a full house of Congress.[3]

The bill is often compared to and discussed in conjunction with the Public Access to Public Science (PAPS) Act, also introduced in 2013.

Executive action[edit]

Days after FASTR was introduced, the Executive Branch's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum that "hereby directs each Federal agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government."[4] The change was in part prompted by an online Whitehouse petition to "Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research."[5][6]


  1. ^ "Wyden Bill Makes Taxpayer Funded Research Available to the Public". Wyden.senate.gov. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  2. ^ Peterson, Andrea (2013-02-16). "The Other Aaron’s Law: How FASTR Could Help Americans Access The Research They Paid For". Think Progress. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  3. ^ Kaiser, Jocelyn (2015-07-29). "Senate panel approves public access bill". ScienceInsider. AAAS. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  4. ^ "White House Issues Public Access Directive". Publishers Weekly. 2013-02-22. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  5. ^ Stebbins, Michael (February 22, 2013). "Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research". The White House. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  6. ^ "Increasing Public Access to the Results of Scientific Research | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government". The White House. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 

External links[edit]