Today, after many years of effort by our members and the open access community, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2015 (FASTR) was approved by unanimous voice vote of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. It now goes to the full Senate for consideration as early as this September. ALA thanks Committee Chair Ron Johnson (R-WI) and his staff for their hard work and wishes again to express its deep gratitude to Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) for his leadership and his staff’s tireless efforts toward ensuring that tax-payer funded research be and remain accessible to the public.
As ALA’s press release states, “FASTR would require federal departments and agencies with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million to develop a policy to ensure that researchers submit an electronic copy of the final manuscript accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Additionally, the bill would also require that each taxpayer-funded manuscript be made available to the public online and without cost, no later than twelve months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.”
While this may seem a small step, it is a critical, momentum-generating advance and the most meaningful legislative movement on FASTR that has ever occurred. Please stay tuned as we continue to monitor this issue and to go into overdrive if ongoing efforts to accelerate a vote on S.779 by the Senate in this calendar year gain traction.
Congratulations to all of you who helped “move FASTR” today and thanks for being ready to join ALA again when it’s time to tell Congress to floor it!