Public Access to Science Act

Lots of links in FOS News regarding legislation introduced by Martin Sabo in the US aimed at providing immediate public access to all research papers created with federal money. It's not clear whether the proposal is to keep the current peer review and publishing system but buy back access to the accepted papers using public money, or to publish only in open-access journals such as those of PLoS. Either way, the TV campaign should provide good public awareness of the open access cause.

U.S. Rep. Martin Sabo, a Minnesota Democrat, introduced legislation Thursday that would give immediate public access to all research papers created mostly with federal money, regardless of which journal published them. The federal government doles out more than $50 billion in research funds a year. Many scientific journals, such as Science and Nature, own the copyrights to the research papers reprinted in their publications and charge for access to them. Scientists such as Nobel laureate Harold Varmus have railed against that system for years, arguing the public and scientists operating on a shoe string are excluded from access because of the high costs of subscribing to the journals. They also say it inhibits scientific collaboration.