- The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted in favor of a bill that would require publicly funded research to be made available online, for free, within a year of publication.
- The bill has been fervently supported by librarians across the country, who have pushed for wider access to public research.
- The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) still needs the support of the full Senate and then the House before it would become law.
FASTR applies to researchers employed or funded by government agencies with research budgets larger than $100 million, including NSF, NASA, EPA, and the departments of Energy, Education, Agriculture, Defense, Transportation, and Homeland Security. These researchers would be required to submit a final version manuscript of their work following peer-review. The bill allows for an embargo of that work for up to one year but encourages free online access as soon as possible. The Association of American Publishers has opposed the legislation, arguing free access to the peer-reviewed content will cut into their cost-recovery of extensive pre-press activity. They are pushing for a longer embargo period.