Contact Us | Members Only | Site Map

Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

  Influencing Public Policies Contact:
Prue Adler
Public Access Policies
Access to Federally Funded Research

Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) of 2012

Share Share   Print

Call to Action

Ask your representatives in Congress to co-sponsor FRPAA.

First, check to see if your representatives already sponsor S. 2096 and H.R. 4004.

Key Action on FRPAA

On February 9, 2012, Sens. Cornyn (R-TX), Wyden (D-OR), and Hutchinson (R-TX) and Reps. Doyle (D-PA), Yoder (R-KS), and Clay (D-MO) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA, S. 2096 and H.R. 4004), companion bills that would ensure free, timely, online access to the published results of research funded by 11 US federal agencies.

On February 14 ARL joined others in letters to the Senate and to the House thanking FRPAA's original sponsors for introducing the bill.

On March 20 in the House of Representatives, 24 new bipartisan co-sponsors joined FRPAA's supporters.

On March 29 ARL and six other library organizations sent a letter to Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), Chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, thanking him for conducting a hearing on public access and scholarly publication interests, and reiterating their support for FRPAA.

On May 1 one Senator and two Representatives joined FRPAA's growing list of co-sponsors.

Overview of FRPAA

FRPAA would require agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The bill gives individual agencies flexibility in choosing the location of the digital repository to house this content, as long as the repositories meet conditions for interoperability and public accessibility, and have provisions for long-term archiving.

The legislation seeks to extend and expand access to these federally funded research resources and importantly, spur and accelerate scientific discovery.

Finally, FRPAA reflects a growing trend by funders and campuses alike of adopting and implementing public access policies relating to federally funded research.


Every year, the federal government funds over 60 billion dollars in basic and applied research. Most of this funding is concentrated within 11 departments and agencies. The research results typically are reported in articles published in a wide variety of academic journals.

What FRPAA Will Do

It is expected that non-classified research from investigators funded by the following agencies would be affected: the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

Every federal agency and department with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million or more will implement a public access policy that is consistent with and advances the federal purpose of the respective agency. Agencies would have one year from enactment of the legislation to develop implementation policies, which would be promulgated to affected researchers at the appropriate time. Each agency must:

  • Require each researcher—funded totally or partially by the agency—to submit to the agency an electronic copy of the final, electronic manuscript that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

  • Ensure that the manuscript is preserved in a stable, digital repository maintained by that agency or in another suitable repository that permits free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation.

  • Require that free, online access to each manuscript be available as soon as possible, and no later than six months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

This Legislation Applies to:

  • Any researcher employed by a federal agency with an annual research budget exceeding $100 million who publishes an article based on the work done for the funding agency in a peer-reviewed journal.

  • Any researcher funded by a federal agency with an annual research budget exceeding $100 million who publishes an article based on the funded research in a peer-reviewed journal.

This Legislation Does Not Cover:

  • 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, are exempt to the extent necessary to protect copyright or a patent.

More Information

Talking points, an FAQ, and additional resources are available via the SPARC website.