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Open Access: Information Research


The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act logo

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) has been introduced in Congress (in various forms) since 2006. At its base, it calls for open access to peer-reviewed research manuscripts that use federal funds. Most recently, it was introduced on February 14, 2013. It is currently in committee in both the House and Senate.

Additional Resources


"On July 29 the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) unanimously passed S. 779, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act by voice vote. The bill, which calls for public access to taxpayer-funded research, was marked up to bring it into line with the existing White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) policy memorandum and current National institutes of Health (NIH) policy, and will now move to the full Senate for consideration." (LibraryJournal Academic Newswire, 6 August 2015)


You can read more about this historic legislation and what it means for the future of publicly-funded research here.

Information Production

graphic showing production of data

In 2013, the estimate was that human knowledge doubles every thirteen months, but by 2023, human knowledge is expected to double every TWELVE HOURS because of the proliferation of online information.

The Open Access Citation Advantage

"This paper presents a summary of reported studies on the Open Access citation advantage. There is a brief introduction to the main issues involved in carrying out such studies, both methodological and interpretive. The study listing provides some details of the coverage, methodological approach and main conclusions of each study."

Scholarly Publishing Literacy

Due to the emergence of predatory open access publishers and publications, Jeffrey Beall argued in 2012 for the adoption of "scholarly publishing literacy." Linlin Zhao's 2014 article "Riding the wave of open access: Providing library research support for scholarly publishing literacy" provides the following list of knolwedges and skills that scholarly publishing literacy should include (11):

  • Subject expertise in relevant research fields and knowledge of thier publishing trends
  • An understanding of the journals in their discipline or field, how these journals are ranked, what types of research they publish, where particular subfields fit, and so on
  • Awareness of different roads to open access and their implications
  • Familiarity with the operations of oepn access journals
  • Understanding of funders' policies related to open access
  • Knowledge of licences and copyright (including Creative Commons) related to open access
  • Ability to manage one's own rights as an author
  • Knowledge of key indicators of quality open access journals
  • Ability to apply such quality indicators as criteria for due diligence checking
  • Skills in using digital media to create and communcate research in a digital environment