[Open letter to two members of Congress in support of OA for CRS reports]

“Thank you for your ongoing efforts to provide oversight and direction to the Library of Congress and for your service on the oldest continuing joint committee of the U.S. Congress. We respectfully request that you direct the Congressional Research Service to publish all non-confidential CRS Reports online….

Congress has endorsed public availability of non-confidential CRS Reports, as have former CRS employees, civil society, and academics. Indeed, long standing congressional policy 5 6 7 has allowed Members and committees to distribute CRS products to the public over the decades and now directs the CRS to prospectively make the reports publicly available. “Non-current CRS reports,” i.e., reports not published on CRS’s internal website after the 2018 Appropriations law’s enactment date, still have relevance for members of Congress, staff, and the public. These reports provide context for issues under deliberation and illuminate choices made by members of Congress concerning policy questions that still are relevant today. CRS Reports are often cited in significant historical works of scholarship. In fact, the continued relevance of non-current CRS Reports is why, in part, CRS maintains a digitized archive of some reports for use by CRS employees that often are shared with congressional staff….

Congressional Research Service Reports enrich the legislative process and help inform public debate. We appreciate your attention to addressing public availability of non-current CRS Reports and publication of all non-confidential CRS Reports in more flexible formats….” 

Publishers fail to stem tide of illicit ResearchGate uploads | Times Higher Education (THE)

Publishers say that tens of thousands of copyright-infringing research papers are still being uploaded to the online academic network ResearchGate every month, making it easier for universities to ditch their journal subscription contacts because so many articles are now available for free.

Since October 2017, the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, which includes Wiley, Elsevier and Oxford University Press, have tried to pressure ResearchGate into taking down what they say are millions of copyrighted articles on the platform, including launching legal action in the US and Germany.

But their latest report shows that since then, close to 1 million copyright-infringing articles have been uploaded to ResearchGate, an average of 58,000 a month….”

Coalition supports Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act | R Street

“As organizations committed to the availability of information about our government and its transparency, we write to express our support for the Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act of 2016 (S. 2639), introduced last week. We extend our sincere gratitude for your many years of leadership in support of opening access to these valuable, taxpayer-funded reports. We are appreciative of your efforts, and those of Sen. Patrick Leahy, to make a bipartisan push for a more open government at a time when such work is particularly vital to our democracy.”

The New Government Omnibus Spending Bill Shows That Science Advocacy Matters

“Congress will now be required to post Congressional Research Service reports (reports on policy issues that are completed by Congress’s research arm) on the Internet. This will mean better public access to nonpartisan, taxpayer-funded research and ensure transparency, something UCS has long been advocating for….”

Letter: Expand public access to Congressional Research Service reports

[Apparently this letter was taken offline soon after it was posted. This is the version in the Google cache.] 

“Dear Chairman Harper, Chairman Shelby, Chairman Yoder, Chairman Lankford, Ranking Member Brady, Ranking Member Klobuchar, Ranking Member Ryan, and Ranking Member Murphy:

We write in support of expanded public access to Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. Longstanding congressional policy allows Members and committees to use their websites to disseminate CRS products to the public, although CRS itself may not engage in direct public dissemination. This results in a disheartening inequity: insiders with Capitol Hill connections can easily obtain CRS reports from any of the 20,000 congressional staffers and well-resourced groups can pay for access from subscription services. However, members of the public can access only a small subset of CRS reports that are intermittently posted on an assortment of not-for-profit websites. Now is the time for a systematic solution that provides timely, comprehensive free public access to and preservation of non-confidential reports while protecting confidential communications between CRS and Members and committees of Congress.

CRS reports—not to be confused with confidential CRS memoranda and other products—play a critical role in our legislative process by informing lawmakers and staff about the important issues of the day. The public should have the same access to information. …

Taxpayers provide more than $100 million annually in support of CRS, and yet members of the public often must look to private companies for consistent access to CRS reports. Some citizens are priced out of these services, resulting in inequitable access to information about government activity that is produced at public expense….”

[Signed by 42 organizations and 47 individuals.]