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May 11, 2006

Federal Research Public Access Act: Debate Heats Up

Associations representing various publishing concerns are lining up to staunchly oppose the Federal Research Publich Access Act of 2006 (FRPAA), fearing that it will cause a decrease in their subscription revenues. Calling the legislation a duplicative effort that places an unwarranted burden on research investigators, the publishers have argued that if passed, the legislation will seriously endanger the integrity of the scientific publishing process. The legislation would require the majority of recipients of US federal research agency funds to make their findings freely available online within six months of their initial publication in a scholarly journal.
The Association of American Publishers, the largest trade association for American publishers, has issued a statement that is highly critical of FRPAA. Statements from other trade associations can be expected to follow, or to mirror the AAP statement. See: International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers; Professional Scholarly Publishing; Society for Scholarly Publishing

Peter Suber has written a 10-point rebuttal to the statement from the AAP pointing out, among other things, that public interest takes precedence over profits, publically funded research is not fully available to the general public in public libraries (nor even at many research institutions), the NIH "suggestion" that faculty deposit their research has failed with just a 4% compliance rate, and publisher revenues in the one field that has embraced OA (physics arXiv) has not faultered.

See also KnowledgeSpeak news release.

Posted by Katie Newman at May 11, 2006 11:26 AM