White House Orders Free Access to Scientific Research

Saturday, 23 Feb 2013 11:19 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Friday ordered federal agencies to devise plans to maximize free public access to federally funded scientific research.

The order was made in response to a petition on the White House web site, reports Politico. It directs agencies that oversee $100 million or more in federal research funding to come up with plans making that research “publicly available free of charge within 12 months after original publication."

“The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that the results of federally-funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community," wrote John Holdren, office director and assistant to the president for science and technology. “This research was funded by taxpayer dollars. Americans should have easy access to the results of research they help support."

Making the research publicly available will bring scientific discovery and innovation, Holdren said.

The petition asked that all federally funded research be posted online. The request was put on the White House site by a “J.W.” from Oakland, Calif. last May and drew more than 65,000 signatures, and pointed out the National Institutes of Health already has a public-access policy.

"Policies that mobilize these intellectual assets for re-use through broader access can accelerate scientific breakthroughs, increase innovation, and promote economic growth," Holdren said.

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