The Columbia University Libraries/Information Services (CUL/IS) has responded to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) requests for information (RFI) on public access to scientific publications and data resulting from federally funded research.
Columbia is one of many universities and other groups representing researchers and research institutions that have submitted responses to the RFIs. Many publishers of scholarly journals are also expected to comment.
Answering these RFIs has been especially crucial in light of the recent introduction of the Research Works Act (RWA) in the House of Representatives. The RWA (HR 3699, co-sponsored by Congressman Darrell Issa and New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney), would prevent Federal agencies from adopting policies requiring that peer-reviewed journal articles reporting the results of Federally funded research be made publicly accessible without the prior consent of both the author and publisher of the article. The RWA would mean the end of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy and would prohibit other Federal agencies from adopting similar policies. The bill has been broadly criticized by researchers, librarians, and advocates of open access, open government, and open source software. Though the Association for American Publishers supports the bill, AAP members including MIT Press, ITHAKA, and Pennsylvania State University Press have denounced it.