Research Works Act

The Research Works Act, 102 H.R. 3699, was a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives at the 112th United States Congress on December 16, 2011, by Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) and co-sponsored by Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY).[2] The bill contained provisions to prohibit open-access mandates for federally funded research[3] and effectively revert[4] the United States' National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy,[5] which requires taxpayer-funded research to be freely accessible online.[6] If enacted, it would have also severely restricted the sharing of scientific data.[7] The bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,[8] of which Issa is the chair.[9] Similar bills were introduced in 2008[10] and 2009[11] but have not been enacted since.[1]

On February 27, 2012 Elsevier, a major publisher, announced that it was withdrawing support for the Act.[12] Later that day, Issa and Maloney issued a statement saying that they would not push for legislative action on the bill.[13]

Research Works Act
Great Seal of the United States (obverse)
Long title"To ensure the continued publication and integrity of peer-reviewed research works by the private sector." —H.R. 3699[1]
Legislative history


The bill was supported by the Association of American Publishers (AAP)[14] and the Copyright Alliance.[15]

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition,[3] the Alliance for Taxpayer Access,[16] the American Library Association,[4] the International Society for Computational Biology,[17] the Confederation of Open Access Repositories[18] and prominent open science and open access advocates criticized the Research Works Act,[19][20][21][22][23] some of them urging scholarly societies to resign from the AAP because of its support for the bill.[24][25] Several AAP members, including MIT Press, Rockefeller University Press, Nature Publishing Group, American Association for the Advancement of Science stated their opposition to the bill but signaled no intention to leave the association.[26] Other AAP members stated their opposition to the bill[27] as did the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.[28] Several public health groups opposed the bill.[29]

Opponents stressed particularly the effects on public availability of biomedical research results, such as those funded by NIH grants, submitting that under the bill "taxpayers who already paid for the research would have to pay again to read the results".[30] Mike Taylor from the University of Bristol said that the bill's denial of access to scientific research would cause "preventable deaths in developing countries" and "an incalculable loss to science", and said Representatives Issa and Maloney were motivated by multiple donations they had received from the academic publisher Elsevier.[31]

An online petition – The Cost of Knowledge – inspired by British mathematician and Fields medalist Timothy Gowers to raise awareness of the bill, to call for lower prices for journals and to promote increased open access to information, was signed by more than 10,000 scholars.[32] Signatories vowed to withhold their support from Elsevier journals as editors, reviewers or authors "unless they radically change how they operate". On February 27, 2012, Elsevier announced its withdrawal of support for the bill, citing concerns from journal authors, editors, and reviewers.[33] While participants in the boycott celebrated the dropping of support for the Research Works Act,[34] Elsevier denied that their action was a result of the boycott and stated that they took this action at the request of those researchers who did not participate in the boycott.[35]

Related legislation and executive action

The Research Works Act followed other attempts to challenge institutional open-access mandates in the US. On September 9, 2008, an earlier bill aimed at reversing the NIH's Public Access Policy – the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, or Conyers Bill – was introduced as 110 H. R. 6845 in the House of Representatives at the 110th United States Congress by U.S Representative John Conyers (D-MI), with three cosponsors.[36] It was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, to which Conyers delivered an introduction on September 10, 2008.[37] After the start of the 111th United States Congress, Conyers and six-cosponsors reintroduced the bill to the House of Representatives as 111 H. R. 801 on February 3, 2009.[38] It was on the same day referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and on March 16 to the Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy.[39]

On the other hand, the Federal Research Public Access Act proposed to expand the open public access mandate to research funded by eleven U.S. federal agencies. Originally introduced to the Senate in 2006 by John Cornyn (R-TX) with two cosponsors,[40] it was reintroduced in 2009 by Lieberman, co-sponsored by Cornyn,[41] and again in 2012.[42] These bills proposed requiring that those eleven agencies with research expenditures over $100 million create online repositories of journal articles of the research completed by that agency and make them publicly available without charge within six months after it has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.[43] On February 22, 2013 the Obama administration issued a similar policy memorandum, directing Federal agencies with more than $100 million in annual research and development expenditures to develop plans to make research freely available to the public within one year of publication in most cases.[44]

See also


  1. ^ a b Rosen, Rebecca J. (January 5, 2012). "Why Is Open-Internet Champion Darrell Issa Supporting an Attack on Open Science?". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012.
  2. ^ H.R. 3699
  3. ^ a b Joseph, Heather (January 6, 2012). "Take Action: Oppose H.R. 3699, a new bill to block public access to publicly funded research". SPARC blog. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Trying to roll back the clock on Open Access statement by the American Library Association that "vehemently oppose[e]d the bill".
  5. ^ "NIH Public Access Policy Details". Archived from the original on 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
  6. ^ Dobbs, David (January 6, 2012). "Congress Considers Paywalling Science You Already Paid For". Wired. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012.
  7. ^ Piwowar, Heather. Research Works Act Attacks Data Dissemination Too
  8. ^ H.R. 3699: Research Works Act: Committee Assignments
  9. ^ List of members elected to the standing committees of the House of Representatives on January 5, 2011
  10. ^ Peter Suber (October 2, 2008). "A bill to overturn the NIH policy". SPARC Open Access Newsletter. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  11. ^ Peter Suber (March 2, 2009). "Re-introduction of the bill to kill the NIH policy". SPARC Open Access Newsletter. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  12. ^ Elsevier withdraws support for the Research Works Act
  13. ^ Howard, Jennifer (February 27, 2012). "Legislation to Bar Public-Access Requirement on Federal Research Is Dead". Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  14. ^ Sporkin, Andi (December 23, 2011). "Publishers Applaud "Research Works Act," Bipartisan Legislation To End Government Mandates on Private-Sector Scholarly Publishing". Association of American Publishers. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012.
  15. ^ Statement from Copyright Alliance Executive Director Sandra Aistars, Re: Introduction of H.R. 3699, the Research Works Act
  16. ^ Joseph, Heather; McLennan, Jennifer (January 6, 2012). "Call to action: Oppose H.R. 3699, a bill to block public access to publicly funded research". Alliance for Taxpayer Access. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  17. ^ Jacobs, Grant (January 11, 2012). "ISCB to respond to Research Works Act (HR 3699)". Code for Life. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  18. ^ Putlitz, Maxie (February 6, 2012). "Maximizing the visibility of research outputs: COAR call for action". Confederation of Open Access Repositories website. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  19. ^ Harnad, Stevan (January 7, 2012). "Research Works Act H.R.3699: The Private Publishing Tail Trying To Wag The Public Research Dog, Yet Again". Open Access Archivangelism. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  20. ^ Eisen, Michael (January 5, 2012). "Elsevier-funded NY Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Wants to Deny Americans Access to Taxpayer Funded Research". Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  21. ^ Murray-Rust, Peter (January 6, 2012). "The Scholarly Poor could lose access to scientific research; this is serious". Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  22. ^ O'Reilly, Tim (January 5, 2012). "Oppose H.R. 3699: To ensure the continued publication and integrity of peer-reviewed research works by the private sector". Letters to Congress. Archived from the original on 2012-01-19. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  23. ^ Peter Suber (January 6, 2012). "New bill to block open access to publicly-funded research". Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  24. ^ Eisen, Michael (January 7, 2012). "Our scientific societies need to quit the Association of American Publishers". Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  25. ^ Dupuis, John (January 5, 2012). "Scholarly Societies: It's time to abandon the AAP over The Research Works Act". Confessions of a Science Librarian.
  26. ^ Richard Poynder (January 11, 2012). "MIT Press distances itself from Research Works Act". Open and Shut. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  27. ^ "Notes on the Research Works Act". Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  28. ^ Hunter R. Rawlings III (February 6, 2012). "AAU, APLU Express Opposition to Research Works Act". Association of American Universities website. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  29. ^ Hunter R. Rawlings III (February 9, 2012). "Seven public health groups write to oppose the "Research Works Act"". Knowledge Ecology International. Archived from the original on February 9, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  30. ^ Eisen, Michael (January 10, 2012). "Research Bought, Then Paid For". New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  31. ^ Taylor, Mike (16 January 2011). "Academic publishers have become the enemies of science". The Guardian.
  32. ^ "The Cost of Knowledge". Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  33. ^ "Elsevier withdraws support for the Research Works Act". Elsevier. February 27, 2012. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012.
  34. ^ Doctorow, Cory (28 February 2012). "Elsevier withdraws support from Research Works Act, bill collapses". BoingBoing. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  35. ^ Howard, Jennifer (27 February 2012). "Legislation to Bar Public-Access Requirement on Federal Research Is Dead". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  36. ^ "Bill Text 110th Congress (2007–2008) H.R.6845.IH". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
  37. ^ "Speech of John Conyers in the House of Representatives, September 10, 2008". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
  38. ^ "Bill Text 111th Congress (2009–2010) H.R.801.IH". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
  39. ^ "Bill summary and status, H.R.801". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
  40. ^ S. 2695
  41. ^ S. 1373
  42. ^ Kaiser, Jocelyn (10 February 2012). "Lawmakers Reintroduce Public Access Bill". ScienceInsider. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  43. ^ "Federal Research Public Access Act 2006".
  44. ^ White House Issues Public Access Directive

External links is an American social networking website for academics. The platform can be used to share papers, monitor their impact, and follow the research in a particular field. It was launched in September 2008, with 39 million unique visitors per month as of January 2019 and over 21 million uploaded texts. was founded by Richard Price, who raised $600,000 from Spark Ventures, HOWZAT Partners, Brent Hoberman, and others.

Academic journal publishing reform

Academic journal publishing reform is the advocacy for changes in the way academic journals are created and distributed in the age of the Internet and the advent of electronic publishing. Since the rise of the Internet, people have organized campaigns to change the relationships among and between academic authors, their traditional distributors and their readership. Most of the discussion has centered on taking advantage of benefits offered by the Internet's capacity for widespread distribution of reading material.


Access2Research is a campaign in the United States for academic journal publishing reform led by open access advocates Michael W. Carroll, Heather Joseph, Mike Rossner, and John Wilbanks.On May 20, 2012, it launched a petition to the White House to "require free access over the Internet to journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research". The White House has committed to issue an official response to such petitions if they reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days. Access2Research reached this milestone within two weeks. On February 22, 2013, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and announced an executive directive ordering all US Federal Agencies with research & development budgets over $100M to develop public access policies within twelve months.

The petition builds on previous campaigns asking scholars, publishers, funders, governments and the general public to remove paywalls to publicly funded scholarly research. It follows initiatives previously targeted at academics such as The Cost of Knowledge calling for lower prices for scholarly journals and to promote increased access to scientific information. The campaign refers to the NIH Public Access Policy as an example of a mandate that should be expanded to all federally funded research.

Carolyn Maloney

Carolyn Bosher Maloney (born Carolyn Jane Bosher; February 19, 1946) is the U.S. Representative from New York's 12th congressional district and a member of the Democratic Party. The district, numbered as the 14th District from 1993 to 2013 and popularly known as the "silk stocking district", includes most of Manhattan's East Side; Astoria and Long Island City in Queens; Greenpoint, Brooklyn; and Roosevelt Island.

Darrell Issa

Darrell Edward Issa (; born November 1, 1953) is an American businessman and Republican politician. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2019, representing districts primarily covering north San Diego County, California. From January 2011 to January 2015, he served as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Issa served as CEO of Directed Electronics, which he co-founded in 1982. It is currently one of the largest makers of automobile aftermarket security and convenience products in the United States. Sporting a net worth of approximately 250 million dollars, Issa during his tenure was the wealthiest serving member of Congress.

Issa announced on January 10, 2018, that he would not seek reelection for his House seat. Democrat Mike Levin was elected on November 6, 2018 to become the district's next representative.On September 19, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Issa to be Director of the United States Trade and Development Agency.


Elsevier (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛlzəviːr]) is a Dutch information and analytics company and one of the world's major providers of scientific, technical, and medical information. It was established in 1880 as a publishing company. It is a part of the RELX Group, known until 2015 as Reed Elsevier. Its products include journals such as The Lancet and Cell, the ScienceDirect collection of electronic journals, the Trends and Current Opinion series of journals, the online citation database Scopus, and the ClinicalKey solution for clinicians. Elsevier's products and services include the entire academic research lifecycle, including software and data-management, instruction and assessment tools.Elsevier publishes more than 430,000 articles annually in 2,500 journals. Its archives contain over 13 million documents and 30,000 e-books. Total yearly downloads amount to more than 900 million.Elsevier's high operating profit margins (37% in 2017) and its copyright practices have subjected it to criticism by researchers.

Fair Copyright in Research Works Act

The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (Bill H.R 801 IH, also known as the "Conyers Bill") was submitted as a direct response to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy; intending to reverse it.

The bill's alternate name relates it to U.S Representative John Conyers (D-MI), who introduced it at the 111th United States Congress on February 3, 2009.The initiative of the bill is to amend Title 17 of the United States Code with respect to works associated with specific funding agreements. It would ultimately prohibit federal agencies from placing any conditions for copyright transfer on funding agreements; effectively making the current NIH policy illegal.

Federal Research Public Access Act

The Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) is a proposal to require open public access to research funded by eleven U.S. federal government agencies. It was originally proposed by Senators John Cornyn and Joe Lieberman in 2006 and then again in 2010, and then once more in 2012.A later version of the bill, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act, was introduced in 2013 and 2015.

H.R. 3699

H.R. 3699 or HR 3699 may refer to:

The Research Works Act, a 2011 United States House of Representatives bill that prevents taxpayer funded research from being freely accessible online

H.R. 3699, a 2009 United States House of Representatives bill to prohibit funding that would increase the U.S. military buildup in Afghanistan

HR 3699, the designation of Iota Carinae, a star in the constellation Carina

Howard Berman

Howard Lawrence Berman (born April 15, 1941) is an American attorney and former U.S. Representative, last serving California's 28th congressional district, serving in Congress from 1983 to 2013. The district, numbered as the 26th District from 1983 to 2003, included about half of the San Fernando Valley. Berman is a Democrat.

John Conyers

John James Conyers Jr. (born May 16, 1929) is an American politician of the Democratic Party who served as a U.S. Representative for Michigan from 1965 to 2017. He is now retired. The districts he represented always included part of western Detroit. During his final three terms, his district included many of Detroit's western suburbs, as well as a large portion of the Downriver area.

Conyers served more than 50 years in Congress, becoming the sixth-longest serving member of Congress in U.S. history; he is the longest-serving African American member of Congress. Conyers was the Dean of the House of Representatives. By the end of his last term, he was the last remaining member of Congress who had served since the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.

After serving in the Korean War, Conyers became active in the civil rights movement. He also served as an aide to Congressman John Dingell before winning election to the House in 1964. He co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus in 1969 and established a reputation as one of the most liberal members of Congress. Conyers joined the liberal Congressional Progressive Caucus after it was founded in 1991. Conyers supports the creation of a single-payer healthcare system and sponsored the United States National Health Care Act to achieve that goal. He also sponsored a bill to establish Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday. Conyers ran for Mayor of Detroit in 1989 and 1993, but he was defeated in the primary in both elections.

Conyers served as the ranking Democratic member on the House Committee on the Judiciary from 1995 to 2007 and again from 2011 to 2017. He served as chairman of that committee from 2007 to 2011 and as Chairman of the House Oversight Committee from 1989 to 1995. On November 26, 2017, he announced his intention to step aside from that position while he was investigated by the House for allegations of sexual harassment.Later in November 2017, in the wake of allegations that he had sexually harassed female staff members and secretly used taxpayer money to settle a harassment claim, the news media reported that Conyers intended to retire from Congress at the end of his current term. On December 5, 2017, Conyers announced his resignation, effective immediately, and his endorsement of his son John Conyers III to replace him in Congress. Conyers' son did not run. His grandnephew Ian Conyers was defeated in the Democratic primary by Rashida Tlaib, who won the seat in the 2018 mid-term election. Conyers' direct successor was Brenda Jones, who won a special election to serve in the two-month gap between the election and Tlaib's induction.

List of intellectual property legislation proposed in the United States Congress

This is a list of proposed legislation currently or formerly pending in either house of the United States Congress that would change intellectual property laws in the United States if enacted. Bills still pending as of the end of a Congress were not passed but may be reintroduced in subsequent Congresses.

Michael Eisen

Michael Bruce Eisen (born April 13, 1967) is an American computational biologist. He is Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development at University of California, Berkeley. He is a leading advocate of open access scientific publishing and is co-Founder of Public Library of Science (PLOS). Eisen has announced his intention to run for U.S. Senate from California in 2018 as an Independent.

NIH Public Access Policy

The NIH Public Access Policy is an open access mandate, drafted in 2004 and mandated in 2008, requiring that research papers describing research funded by the National Institutes of Health must be available to the public free through PubMed Central within 12 months of publication. PubMed Central is the self-archiving repository in which authors or their publishers deposit their publications. Copyright is retained by the usual holders, but authors may submit papers with one of the Creative Commons licenses.

Open science

Open science is the movement to make scientific research (including publications, data, physical samples, and software) and its dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society, amateur or professional. Open science is transparent and accessible knowledge that is shared and developed through collaborative networks. It encompasses practices such as publishing open research, campaigning for open access, encouraging scientists to practice open notebook science, and generally making it easier to publish and communicate scientific knowledge.

Open Science can be seen as a continuation of, rather than a revolution in, practices begun in the 17th century with the advent of the academic journal, when the societal demand for access to scientific knowledge reached a point at which it became necessary for groups of scientists to share resources with each other so that they could collectively do their work. In modern times there is debate about the extent to which scientific information should be shared. The conflict that led to the Open Science movement is between the desire of scientists to have access to shared resources versus the desire of individual entities to profit when other entities partake of their resources. Additionally, the status of open access and resources that are available for its promotion are likely to differ from one field of academic inquiry to another.


RELX plc (pronounced "Rel-ex") is a corporate group comprising companies that publish scientific, technical and medical material, and legal textbooks; provide decision-making tools; and organise exhibitions. It operates in 40 countries and serves customers in over 180 nations. It was previously known as Reed Elsevier, and came into being in 1992 as a result of the merger of Reed International, a British trade book and magazine publisher, and Elsevier, a Netherlands-based scientific publisher.

The company is publicly-listed, with shares traded on the London Stock Exchange, Amsterdam Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbols: London: REL, Amsterdam: REN, New York: RELX). About 55 per cent of the company’s revenues are generated from the US, with 23 per cent from Europe and 22 per cent from the rest of the world. The company is one of the constituents of the FTSE 100 Index, Financial Times Global 500 and Euronext 100 Index.

The Cost of Knowledge

The Cost of Knowledge is a protest by academics against the business practices of academic journal publisher Elsevier. Among the reasons for the protests were a call for lower prices for journals and to promote increased open access to information. The main work of the project was to ask researchers to sign a statement committing not to support Elsevier journals by publishing, performing peer review, or providing editorial services for these journals.

Timeline of the open-access movement

The following is a timeline of the international movement for open access to scholarly communication.

Projects +

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