WH demands immediate access to all US-funded research articles by 2025

On August 25, 2022, the Biden administration announced the implementation of a new policy that requires all US-funded research materials to be freely available to the public by 2025. Prior to this policy, the former President Obama signed into law “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” in 2013. The new policy aims to combat online paywalls and make all information discovered in a research study easily accessible to the audience.

The United States government has adopted many different policies over the past few decades regarding access to government-funded research projects. Since 2013, they have been trying to increase public access to these research projects.

Currently, most scientific papers supported by US funds have a one-year paywall in place that ensures that anyone trying to access the paper within the first year of publication will have to pay to access it. Databases such as JSTOR and EBSCO both enforce this paywall unless a university or organization purchases access to all materials, such as FSU.

There was a range of mixed reactions to the new policy. American citizens have expressed enthusiasm for access to materials, and American students are grateful to have access to free scientific articles for their education.

“While trying to access academic journals online in high school, I was surprised when I first learned that consumers like me with no connection to institutions or universities had to pay a fee substantial just to view a single published paper,” Jayson Bakshi, said a sophomore at Florida State University who participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). “I still think anyone should be able to see these posts without being blocked by paywalls.”

From a student’s point of view, this policy can be considered very useful because he can have access to more research materials that can help him in his own research.

“Doing research is a very important aspect of school. I remember many times when I was delighted to find a source for a research paper and then had to look for another simply because of a paywall that prevented me from doing so,” said Diego Samudio , first year student in Studio Art. “I’m very happy to know that in the future, students won’t have to deal with so many annoying paywalls.”

Despite the excitement in colleges and high schools, the removal of the paywall is making it harder for organizations to fund themselves. Many publishers have implemented the paywall as a means of covering the costs of the lengthy process that accompanies the publication of research articles.

The Association of American Publishers was unhappy with the announcement and said it was met “without formal and meaningful consultation or input from the public … on a decision that will have far-reaching ramifications, including serious economic impact.”

Despite the best efforts of the United States government, the new policy still does not completely remove the paywall. This policy only applies to research articles directly funded by the United States and there are still ways for some of these organizations to circumvent the policy and continue to use paywalls. For example, publishers can use a monthly subscription rather than a paywall, so some type of payment will always be required.

“I think we are seeing a move towards real open science, which is fantastic! This helps create a more transparent scientific process, which can fix some of the scientific distrust we see in different populations. said FSU assistant professor Dr. Rasheda Haughbrook. “Furthermore, I think we all have a right to scientific knowledge, it shouldn’t have to be paid for.”

Other privately funded organizations and research papers are still allowed to use paywalls since their funding does not come directly from the government. It’s still unclear how much of an impact this will have, but as of now federally funded newspapers are open to the public and by 2025 they will be easily accessible.

To learn more about the policy, visit whitehouse.gov.

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