Tell the White House taxpayers should have access to the results of the research we fund – Act by Jan. 2

The opportunity

As part of the process of fulfilling Section 103 of the 2010 America COMPETES Act, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued a Request for Information (RFI), asking individuals and organizations to provide recommendations on approaches for broad public access and long-term stewardship to peer-reviewed scholarly publications that result from federally funded scientific research. The RFI poses eight multi-part questions.


The full text of the RFI may be found at:

NOTE: A second RFI has also been issued on the topic of public access to digital data. SPARC/ATA will coordinate with allied organizations including ARL and CNI to formulate a response.


Who should respond?

It is urgent that as many individuals and organizations as possible – at all levels – respond.

For reference, the RFI specifically calls for comments from “non-Federal stakeholders, including the public, universities, nonprofit and for-profit publishers, libraries, federally funded and non-federally funded research scientists, and other organizations and institutions with a stake in long-term preservation and access to the results of federally funded research.”

If you can’t answer all of the questions, answer as many as possible – and respond to questions as directly as possible.

Organizations beyond the U.S., with experience with openaccess policies, are also invited to contribute.


How the results will be used

The input provided through this RFI will inform the National Science and Technology Council’s Task Force on Public Access to Scholarly Publications, convened by OSTP.

OSTP will issue a report to Congress describing:

  1. Priorities for the development of agency policies for ensuring broad public access to the results of federally funded, unclassified research;
  2. The status of agency policies for public access to publications resulting from federally funded research;
  3. Public input collected.


Taxpayers paid for the research. We deserve to be able to access the results.

The main point to emphasize is that taxpayers are entitled to access the results of the research our tax dollars fund. Taxpayers should be allowed to immediately access and fully reuse the results of publicly funded research.

To discuss talking points in further detail, don’t hesitate to contact us.


How to respond

The deadline for submissions is January 2, 2012. Submissions should be sent via email to Please note: OSTP will publicly post all submissions after the deadline (along with names of submitters and their institutions) so please make sure not to include any confidential or proprietary information in your submission. Attachments may be included.


As ever, thanks for your commitment to public access and the advancement of these crucial policies.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact:


Heather Joseph
Executive Director, SPARC and spokesperson for the Alliance for Taxpayer Access
heather [at] arl [dot] org


Jennifer McLennan
Director of Programs and Operations, SPARC & the Alliance for Taxpayer Access
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org