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News & Events

Keeping up with happenings in the world of OA publishing is literally more than a full-time job.  The individual who accomplishes this best is Peter Suber (see section below), who does so through primarily through his OA Newsletters. In addition, some interesting news articles and legislative activity will be highlighted here and updated periodically.

Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing by Declan Butler
This article describes how Jeffrey Beall's interest in OA became interested in OA and predatory publishers evolved into his role as a watchdog for “potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open access publishers".  It then describes the explosion in open access publishing that has fueled the rise of questionable operators.

Legislative News Courtesy of Suber’s 3/2/2013 Newsletter Issue # 167
U.S. Doubles Down on OA to Federally Funded Research
During the last half of February, a new bill was introduced in both Houses of Congress by both parties, FASTR, aka, the Fair Access To Science & Technology Research Act, a stronger version of the earlier FRPAA, aka the Federal Research Public Access Act.  FASTR would expand the mandate to deposit works arising out of research conducted with taxpayer funds beyond those funded by NIH to all federal agencies spending at least $100 million per year to fund extramural research.  Within one year of the bill’s passage, these agencies must develop policies to conform to the mandates in the bill (mandates for free public access to the works funded in whole or in part by one of the covered agencies).
The mandate would require OA to at least the final version of the author’s peer reviewed manuscript through deposit in an open repository.  The agencies would have the freedom to designate a “suitable” repository, “suitable” meaning free public access, interoperability and long-term preservation.
Furthermore, the OA deposit should occur “as soon as practicable” after publication in a peer reviewed journal but no later than six months after publication.  Immediate or unembargoed open access would be required for works by government-employed researchers.

The New White House Directive
On  February 22, 2013, the White House announced that it was issuing a directive to a large group of federal agencies to develop open access policies within six months. The directive, currently in effect, mirrors the FASTR legislation, in that it requires the final peer-reviewed manuscript of the scholarly research output resulting from a  grant given by a Federal agency spending over $100 million in annual extramural R&D budgets must be deposited immediately, upon acceptance for publication, in an open online repository.  It must be made publicly available within twelve months. 

The tentative list of affected departments and agencies include:
• Department of Agriculture
• Department of Defense
• Department of Education
• Department of Energy
• Department of Interior
• Environmental Protection Agency
• Institute of Museum and Library Sciences
• National Aeronautics and Space Administration
• National Endowment for the Humanities
• National Institutes of Health
• National Science Foundation