On Wednesday, Corey Williams of the American Library Association’s Washington Office participated in the research panel “Knowledge and Innovation: Understanding Public Access to Research,” hosted by the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation in Washington, D.C. The discussion focused on increasing public access to federally-funded research.
The event opened with keynote speaker Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), sponsor of H.R. 4004, the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2012 (FRPAA). Under the proposed bill, federally-funded, taxpayer -supported research would be made available after six months of publication to the public at no additional cost. Rep. Doyle, an avid supporter of public access to federally-funded research, discussed the bill proposal, as well as the government’s role in the modern knowledge economy.
“When research is funded by the government, the public deserves to know about the information,” said Doyle. “The academic community is widely supportive of the bill,” he added.
A panel of experts explored the broader contexts of open access immediately following Doyle’s address. Williams, senior lobbyist and associate director of the ALA Office of Government Relations, discussed the impact of the proposed bill on the public.
“The proposed bill would level the playing field of access,” Williams said. “The public has already funded the research locked behind the paywall. They shouldn’t have to pay a second time to access this research.”
Additional panelists included Allan Adler, vice president for Legal and Government Affairs, Association of American Publishers and Elliot Maxwell, distinguished research fellow at the Pennsylvania State University eBusiness Research Center. Alan Friedman, Fellow at the Brookings Institution moderated the panel.
Press Officer, ALA, Washington Office