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White House Tells Agencies To Increase Access to Fed-Funded Research 121

Z80xxc! writes "The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced a "policy memorandum" today requiring any federal agency with over $100 million in R&D expenditures each year to develop plans for making all research funded by that agency freely available to the public within one year of publication in any peer-reviewed scholarly journal. The full memorandum is available on the White House website. It appears that this policy would not only apply to federal agencies conducting research, but also to any university, private corporation, or other entity conducting research that arises from federal funding. For those in academia and the public at large, this is a huge step towards free open access to publicly funded research." Edward Tufte calls the move timid and unimaginative, linking to a Verge article that explains that it's not quite as sweeping as the summary above sounds.
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White House Tells Agencies To Increase Access to Fed-Funded Research

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  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @11:52AM (#42989371)
    Now we just need to cut the journal publishers out of the system entirely, since they provide no useful or necessary service. Academic publishers are parasites that exploit the volunteer labor of scientists; we no longer require their services to spread articles around the world. We have the Internet, let's just use it and stop clinging to obsolete ideas like copyright.
  • by jasnw ( 1913892 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @12:09PM (#42989483)

    The second article notes that agencies can withhold papers that for protection of economic or national security. While this limitation might be reasonable if the order covers all Government-sponsored research, it only covers that research which has been published. If by "published" the order means "published in a public-domain journal" and the aim is to simply bring Government-sponsored research out from behind journal paywalls, then the research had already been screened by the funding agency to make sure nothing that needed such protection was released. So, any "bad guys" would already have access to the information simply by having a subscription to the journals in question. Thus, this is, or should be, a non-issue. If "published" includes reports submitted to the Government as part of contract requirements (status and final reports), that could be more problematic as these are not all generally releaseable. However, I think what's being addressed here is the issue of bringing research out from behind paywalls, something that should not have any problems meeting "protection of security" issues and has been a long time coming.

  • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gander666 ( 723553 ) * on Saturday February 23, 2013 @12:24PM (#42989583) Homepage
    I care, because I often do deep literature searches. Unfortunately, this requires me to plow through 20 or 30 citations to understand the prior research. About 90% of those are behind paywalls. It typically costs $30 - $45 per paper to get access to the whole thing. And about 2/3rds the time it was worthless.

    It is very easy to blow a couple hundred dollars to review tangential research that may have been relevant.

    How many of these papers were written with government grants? Darned close to 100%. If you take public money for your research, then we should be able to access the paper without cost.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @02:35PM (#42990417) Homepage Journal

    I see. And how many times during the Bush years did we hear Republicans screeching, "B-b-b-but CLINTON!!!" whenever one of their Glorious Leader's many failings was pointed out?

    The inability to take what you dish out is one of the most striking characteristics of what passes for modern conservative thinking. It's simultaneously amusing and pathetic, like a three-year-old's rage when he's denied his favorite toy.

There's no future in time travel.