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Weekly News Digest

September 11, 2006 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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More Support for Federal Research Public Access Act

Fifty-three liberal arts college presidents from across the U.S., representing 22 states and approximately two-thirds of the institutions in the Oberlin Group of Liberal Arts College Libraries, have joined together to sign a letter of support (http://www.oberlingroup.org/about/frpaa.pdf) for the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) of 2006 (S.2695). The legislation would require federal agencies that fund more than $100 million in annual external research to make manuscripts of peer-reviewed journal articles stemming from that research publicly available via the Internet. (For detailed information on FRPAA, see the NewsBreak by Robin Peek at http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=15852.)

The media was alerted to this letter of support by The Alliance for Taxpayer Access (http://www.taxpayeraccess.org), a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing entities that support expanded access to the results of federally funded research, including passage of FRPAA. According to SPARC, which is a member of the Alliance, a total of 116 higher education institutions have now gone on record in support of FRPAA (http://www.arl.org/sparc/advocacy/frpaa/institutions.html).

The letter urged the higher education community, American taxpayers, and members of Congress to support passage of FRPAA into law. The letter stated that this would be a major step forward in ensuring equitable online access to research literature that is paid for by taxpayers. Further, the letter stated: "Given the scope of research literature that would become available online, it is clear that adoption of the bill would have significant benefits for the progress of science and the advancement of knowledge. We are also supportive of the Federal Research Public Access Act because it has been crafted in a way that provides ample protection for the system of peer review. It provides a six-month window, following publication in peer-reviewed journals, before manuscripts are required to be openly accessible on the Internet. This embargo period on access to publicly-funded research safeguards the interests of scholarly societies and other publishers. In addition, the bill leaves control of the final published version of articles, which is generally used for citation purposes, in the hands of publishers."

Source: The Alliance for Taxpayer Access



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