Mike Doyle continues to be my favorite PA Congressman. Here he is on a new bill (which he has sponsored versions of before) that says the public should get free access to research paid for with public dollars. With so many colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, every member of the PA delegation should be on this bill:
Just over a month after internet folk hero and activist Aaron Swartz ended his own life, a bipartisan group of law-makers have introduced legislation that would make progress on a cause near and dear to his heart: Open access to publicly funded research. The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), introduced this week by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Kevin Yoder (R-KS) in the House and Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in the Senate, “require[s] federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal,” building on the success of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) 2008 public access policy.
Swartz faced a maximum sentence of decades in prison at the time of his death for charges related to his alleged downloading of nearly 5 million documents from the academic database JSTOR, in what many believe was an attempt to release the data. While efforts to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the law Swartz was being prosecuted under, using the moniker “Aaron’s Law” emerged quickly, the introduction of FASTR is the first legislative effort since his death to address the open access movement — the effort to provide unrestricted access to peer-reviewed research online.
(via Andrea Peterson)