On July 29, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act (S. 779 and H.R. 1477) was approved by voice vote by the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. FASTR was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John Cornyn (R-TX) and US Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). The proposed legislation would require federal departments and agencies with research expenditures of $100 million or more to make the peer-reviewed versions of research they fund—or research their employees conduct—publicly available via open repositories within twelve months of publication.
Research funded in part or in full by the following departments would be affected: Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Transportation, as well as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and National Science Foundation (NSF). Peer-reviewed journal articles are covered by FASTR, although classified research and other types of scholarship such as laboratory notes, preliminary data analyses, and author notes are excluded.
The next step for FASTR will be a full Senate vote. The House bill is pending committee consideration.
The Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities sent a joint letter to Senators Cornyn and Wyden expressing appreciation for the movement of S. 779 and its balanced approach.