The US government funds research with the expectation that new ideas and discoveries from the research will propel science, stimulate the economy, and improve the lives and welfare of Americans. In addition, the government also funds collaborative information technology and network-based infrastructure projects such as investments in supercomputer centers to leveraging investments in collaborative database development such as Genbank. These wide and diverse investments in e-science have fundamentally changed the nature of scientific research and the understanding by members of the research community of how research is conducted and shared. Recently, policy makers have recognized these changes via legislative and administrative processes and are now focused on new strategies to enhance US economic competitiveness, to advance science, to better manage the research investments, and improve access to the fruits of our collective investment.
Legislation and selected agency initiatives would make federally funded research publicly available under certain circumstances. Enhancing access to federally funded research is a priority for the library community as such initiatives improve access by the public, provide for effective archiving strategies for these resources, and ensure accountability of the federal investment.