Cornyn, Wyden Introduce Bill to Increase Access to Taxpayer-Funded Research

In: All News   Posted 08/02/2017

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) today introduced the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act to improve the availability of taxpayer-funded research.

“Americans deserve easy access to taxpayer-funded research findings,” Sen. Cornyn said.  “This legislation will foster transparency and encourage innovation by ensuring that important research will always be made available to the taxpayers who funded it.”

“Americans fund breakthroughs in technology, science, medicine and dozens of other areas every year,” Wyden said. “Ensuring this research is available to the public rather than locked behind a paywall is the best way to encourage more scientific discoveries, high-tech innovations, and new businesses that can improve our lives.”


The FASTR Act was passed unanimously by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee last Congress and would:

Spur Innovation and Encourage Job Creation 

  • Faster commercialization spurs economic growth, creating new jobs across broad sectors of the economy.
  • Faster access to and use of research articles speeds the launch of new services and products into the marketplace.
  • Encourages private investment in information technology to capitalize on a government resource.

Expand Access to Taxpayer-Funded Federal Research Investments: Every federal agency with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million or more will implement a public-access policy that: 

  • Requires each researcher – funded totally or partially by the agency – to submit an electronic copy of the final manuscript that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Ensures that the manuscript is preserved in a stable digital repository.
  • Requires that free, online access to each taxpayer-funded manuscript be available as soon as possible, and no later than 12 months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Include Appropriate Protections for Classified Research, Royalty-Generating Works, and Preliminary Data 

  • The public-access policy does not apply to laboratory notes, preliminary data analyses, author notes, phone logs, or other information used to produce the final manuscript.
  • The policy does not apply to classified research, research that results in works that generate revenue or royalties for the author (such as books), or patentable discoveries to the extent necessary to protect copyright or a patent.