Taxpayer Rights – Are You Losing Access to Research?

Currently, every every federal agency funding non-classified research requires free online access to the full-text, peer-reviewed results of that research as soon as possible after its publication.  The premise is if the tax payer pays for it, they should have free access to it.  A recent bill introduced in Congress might change that.

In mid- December, The Research Works Act bill was introduced in the House of Representative. This small bill (total number of sentences is less than 10) has been causing big controversy in academic and medical communities.

To learn more, go to the New York Times Op-Ed piece Research Bought, then Paid For.

The academic publishing industry supports the bill. You can learn more about their point of view here. Conversely the  Executive Council of the Modern Language Association opposes the legislation. it states, in part:

"Unnecessary limits on the free flow of ideas compromise a robust exchange of information and knowledge. In reviewing the language of the Research Works Act and considering the implications of its provisions, the MLA concludes that this legislation has significant negative ramifications for the future of public access to scholarly material and research. The association therefore opposes passage of this legislation." You can read the full response at