Three important pieces of legislation for the Open Access movement stalled in Congress last term. None were adopted, and it seems likely that some of these proposals will be reintroduced in the new Congress, although the form may change.
Both the Federal Research Public Access Act, which would have required public access within six months for all published research that was supported by federal funding from the major funding agencies, and the less well publicized CURES Act, which would have mandated public access for funded medical research (much narrower that FRPAA), died when the last Congress adjourned and will have to be reintroduced in the 110th Congress in order to be considered.
The best chance for any public access mandate last term had seemed to be the NIH Reauthorization bill, which contained language to make deposit of NIH-funded research, now merely suggested, mandatory. That language was removed, however, before the Reauthorization bill was approved.
So the status quo on public access reigns.
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For help deciding whether course content in Blackboard or some other digital form is fair use or requires copyright permission, consult this policy document adopted by the Academic Council in February 2008.
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