University of Colorado leaders are advocating for a legislative bill that, if passed by Congress, would make academic journals -- which have been soaring in cost -- more accessible.
The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2012 would require that taxpayer-funded manuscripts be made available to the public online at no cost and within six months of the article being published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Essentially, the legislation would expand the National Institutes of Health public access policy -- which already guarantees that research funded by the NIH will be accessible to the public -- to additional agencies, including departments of defense, agriculture, education, commerce, health and human services, homeland security and transportation. It would also apply to the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and the National Science Foundation.
"The cost of journals has been increasing at an astronomical rate, especially in the sciences," said Deborah Fink, a spokeswoman for CU's libraries. "In the past, we've had to eliminate some of our journal subscriptions because the costs have been higher than our budget."