Friday, December 3, 2010

December issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter

Peter Suber's December issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter is now online. Particularly interesting is the section "The US elections and open access" where Suber considers at length the future of the FRPAA (Federal Research Public Access Act) bill which is presently before Congress. He believes that "because Congress is preoccupied with more urgent business, FRPAA has little chance as a stand-alone bill in the lame-duck session. If it expires without a vote at the end of this month, it or some variation of it will almost certainly be re-introduced in the new session. The new bill may be the same as the current FRPAA, which itself is the same as the version of FRPAA introduced in 2006, or may be revised to account for any executive action taken by President Obama in the meantime." Suber's prediction for the ultimate outcome of government mandated open access:
insofar as Republicans are inclined to work constructively for achievable progress, there will be some common ground with Democrats. That common ground will include creating jobs, stimulating the economy, opening government, showing fiscal responsibility with public funds, and mandating public access to publicly-funded research. That bodes well both for FRPAA and for an Obama executive order mandating OA from federal funding agencies. But insofar as Republicans are inclined to obstruct Democrats, reject their own party elders, or both, common ground will be a vanishing quantity. That plus Obama's tendency to seek compromise without reciprocation will mean defeat or dilution for OA policies.

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