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The Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act of 2014, the FIRST Act, is scheduled to be marked-up in the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology TODAY!!! Section 303 of this current legislation would impose significant barriers to the public’s ability to access to taxpayer funded research by restricting federal science agencies’ ability to provide timely, equitable, online access to articles and data reporting on the results of research that they support.
However, Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Rep. Lofgren (D-CA) have drafted an amendment that would dramatically improve the current legislation. It would reduce the original 24 month embargo period down to a 12 month embargo period; modify the possible extension of the embargo period down to six months from one year; and replace an 18-month delay while agencies develop a plan for creating a policy into a report to Congress in 90 days and implementation of their public access policies within on year.