FASTR is a bill to ensure all publically funded research is open access. I urge you all to contact your congresspeople and demand they support this bill.
If you need help, the EFF has a page from which you can contact your congresspeople. You can use their template, or my template below that has been customized for researchers.
As your constituent, and as a university researcher, I am urging you to support the Fair Access to Science & Technology Research Act (FASTR is S. 350 in the Senate and H.R. 708 in the House).
As a researcher, I want my research distributed widely, to anyone who is willing to read it! We in the scientific community are often held to the whims of for-profit journals and publishing agents—agents we must publish through to advance our career, and to get our work seen in the field, due the monopoly-like grip they have on what constitutes a high quality publishing venue—who seek to maximize profit at the expense of taxpayer dollars and the advancement of knowledge.
This research is developed, written, reviewed, digitally typeset, and presented AT NO COST to these publisher, BY US RESEARCHERS, who are often funded with taxpayer dollars through public universities and government agencies like the National Science Foundation. Some venues, through obscene application of copyright, do not allow authors to provide digital copies of THEIR OWN WORK via their personal websites or other means of distribution.
As a result, students, researchers at less well-funded institutions, and citizens have difficulty accessing information they need; professors have a harder time reviewing and teaching the state of the art; cutting-edge research remains hidden.
FASTR helps fix this. The bill makes government agencies design and implement a plan to facilitate public access to the results of their investments. Any researcher who receives federal funding must submit a copy of resulting journal articles to the funding agency, which will then make that research widely available within six months.
Please secure our rights as taxpayers, and our rights as scientists, and promote the progress of science by supporting FASTR.