Open Access Act passed by Congress

January 19, 2014

The Creative Commons blog shared on Friday the US Congress passed legislation requiring:

Federal agencies with research budgets of at least
$100 million per year to provide the public with
free online access to scholarly articles generated
with federal funds no later than 12 months after
publication in a peer-reviewed journal.


The agencies affected by the public access provision of the appropriations bill include

  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Health and Human Services
    which includes research-intensive sub-agencies such as

    • The National Institutes of Health
    • Food and Drug Administration, and
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


According to SPARC, the bill

“ensure[s] that $31 billion of the total $60 billion annual U.S.
investment in taxpayer-funded research is now openly accessible.”


This legislation builds upon the progress made with:

The legislation reads, in Section 527, page 1021:


SEC. 527.

Each Federal agency, or in the case of an agency with multiple bureaus, each bureau (or operating division) funded under this Act that has research and development expenditures in excess of $100,000,000 per year shall develop a Federal research public access policy that provides for—

(1) the submission to the agency, agency bureau, or designated entity acting on behalf of the agency, a machine-readable version of the author’s final peer-reviewed manuscripts that have been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals describing research supported, in whole or in part, from funding by the Federal Government;

(2) free online public access to such final peer-reviewed manuscripts or published versions not later than 12 months after the official date of publication; and

(3) compliance with all relevant copyright laws.



Leave a Reply