If passed, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act of 2013 (FIRST) would impede the public’s ability to access taxpayer-funded research by restricting federal science agencies’ ability to provide timely, equitable, online access to articles and data reporting on the results of research that they support. Section 302 of the bill would undercut federal agencies’ ability to effectively implement the widely-supported White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Directive on Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research, and undermine the public access program pioneered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), significantly delaying American taxpayer access to results of the crucial research funded by their taxpayer dollars, and stifling critical advancements in life-saving research and scientific discovery.
Specifically, the language in Section 302 sanctions locking up articles reporting on taxpayer-funded research for up to 3 years, a time frame more than double of similar policies in effect around the world. Other effects of the bill are mentioned in the talking points on the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) website.
If you care about keeping publicly-funded research results available, consult the SPARC website for more information and for suggestions about things you can do to voice your opposition to the bill, particularly Section 302.