Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) today reintroduced the Public Access to Public Science (PAPS) Act. This legislation would ensure public access to published materials concerning scientific research and development activities funded by federal science agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Weather Service (NWS). An embargo period is included to help balance publishers’ needs with public access goals. PAPS builds on efforts by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner: “It is past time to embrace a public access policy for scientific research. The federal government spends over $100 billion annually on research and development. This bill would ensure Americans have access to the results of their investment. Public access will help prevent duplicative research, foster innovation, increase scientific breakthroughs and keep America on the cutting edge of science and technology.”
Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson: “I want to thank Mr. Sensenbrenner for his continued leadership on this issue. I am delighted to join him once again in introducing this legislation. Public access is an important topic across the scientific enterprise, and for budding scientists, start-up companies, garage inventors, and families everywhere. Increased access and increased use of technology to enable and promote discovery across the corpus of scientific literature will advance the frontiers of science, medicine, and innovation across all sectors of our economy. In 2009 and 2010, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee took a leadership role on public access, launching an open process that culminated in the 2013 OSTP guidance to all federal research agencies to develop public access plans. I am pleased that many agencies have since published such plans and I encourage those agencies who have not yet done so to accelerate their processes. In codifying OSTP’s balanced guidance with this legislation, we are institutionalizing the framework for public access while ensuring that stakeholders continue to have input as agencies implement and update their policies. But as with any introduced bill, this remains a work in progress. I look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Sensenbrenner and with all interested parties as we move forward.”